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Professor of Chemistry, Mineralogy, &c. in Yale College ; Corresponding Member of 
the Society of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, and Foreign Member of 
the Geological Society, of London ; Member of the Royal Mineralogical 
Society of Dresden; of the Imperial Agricultural Society of Mos- 
cow ; Honorary Member of the Linnsean Society of Paris ; 
of the Natural History Society of Belfast ; and 
Member of various Literary and Scien- 
tific Societies in America. 

VOL. XIV.— JULY, 1828. 


Published and Sold by A. H. MALTBY and HEZEKIAH HOWE, 

Philadelphia, E. LITTELL.— Mw York, G. & C. CARVILL. 


London, JOHN MILLER, 40 Pall Mall. 




Art. I. On the Mineralogy of Chester County, with an ac- 
count of some of the Minerals of Delaware, Mary- 
land, and other localities ; hy George W. Carpen- 
ter, of Philadelphia, - - - 1 
II. On the Geology and Mineralogy of the country near 

West Chester, Penn. ; by J. Finch, M. C. C. &c. 15 

III. On the Effect of the Physical Geography of the world, 

on the Boundaries of Empires; by John Finch, 
F. B. S. &c. - - - _ is 

IV. On the Atomic Theory of Chemistry ; by John Finch, 

M. C. S. &c. - - - -;. 24 

V. Pluviometrical Observations, made at West Chester, 

Penn. ; by William Darlington, M. D. - 29 

VI. On the Fossil Tooth of an Elephant, from Lake Erie, 
and on the skeleton of a Mastodon, from the Dela- 
ware and Hudson Canal ; by Jer : Van Rensse- 
laer, M. D. - - - _ 3i 
VII. Observations on the Inefficiency of the Cathartic 
powers of Rhubarbarine, with some Remarks on 
the different varieties of Rhubarb ; by George W. 
Carpenter, of Philadelphia, - - 33 
VIII. On the Efficacy of Paragreles, - - 37 
IX. Some Remarks on the Crude Sodas of Commerce ; by 

John Revere, M. D. Lecturer on Chemistry, &c. 41 

X. Remarks on Inertia ; by Z. - - - 50 

XI. On Crank Motion ; by Isaac Doolittle, - 60 

XII. Abstract of Meteorological Observations, made at 

Marietta, Ohio, in the year 1827; by S. P. Hil- 

dreth, " " " - - 63 

XIII. Notice of the Profile Mountain, in New Hampshire ; 

by Gen. Martin Field, - _ 64 

XIV. Notice of the Louisville and Shippingsport Canal, 

and of the Geology of the vicinity; by Increase A. 
Lapham, assistant Engineer, - 65 

XV. Conclusion of the Notice and Analysis of Professor 
Daubenv's work on Active and Extinct Volcanos, 
from Vol. 13, page 310, - 70 


XVI. Notice of the late Aurora Borealis ; by Mr. Benjamin 

D. Silliman, and others, - 91 

XVII. Contributions towards the Botany of the states of Illi- 
nois and Missouri; by Lewis C. Beck, M. D. 112 
XVIII. Remarks on Mr. Barnes' Notice respecting Magnetic 

Polarity; by a Surveyor, - - 121 

XIX. A Chemical Analysis of the Pittsburgh Mineral 

Spring ; by William Meade, M. D. - 124 

XX. On the Combinations of Chromium ; by Augustus A. 

Haves, ----- 136 

XXI. Geological Nomenclature, Classes of Rocks, &c. ; 

by Prof. Amos Eaton, - - - 145 

XXII. Account of the Welland Canal, Upper Canada; by 

William Hamilton Merritt, Esq. Superintendant, 159 

XXIII. Long's Steam-Pump, - - - 169 

XXIV. An Account of a Water Spout, seen off the coast of 

Florida, in the spring of 1826; by Benjamin Lin- 
coln, M. D., Boston, - - 171 
XXV. On the Cause of Fresh Water Springs, Fountains, &c. ; 

by Joseph Du Commun, - 174 


I. Domestic. 

1. Meteorological Report for the year 1827, - 176 

2. Native Iron ? slightly arseniuretted, - - 183 

3. Note, from R. Harlan, M. D. on the large bones from 

the mouth of the Mississippi, - - 186 

4. Teeth of the Mastodon, - - - 187 

5. Life Preservers — Cloth impervious to air and wa- 

ter, &c, ----- 189 

6. 7, 8. Vermont Manganese — Geological Notice — Pro- 

ceedings of the Lyceum of Natural History, New 

York, 190 

9. Pressure of water at great depths in the ocean, - 194 

10. Effects of friction on board of Ships of War, - 196 

11. Valuable collection in Geology and Mineralogy, 197 

12. American Porcelain, - - - - 198 

13. 14, 15. Meteor of a green color — Southern Review — 

Asbestos, - - - - - 199 

16. Engraving and description of the Hydro-Pneumatic Cis- 

tern, used in the Laboratory of the University of 

Pennsylvania ; by R. Hare, M. D. Professor of 

Chemistry, - - - - 200 

17. Improved Scale of Chemical Equivalents, - 202 


II. Foreign. 


1. Recent discovery of Fossil Bones in the eastern part 

of France, by Prof. Buckland, - - 203 

2, 3. Analysis of the massive Cinnamon Stone — Mines of 

Gold and Platina in the Ural Mountains, - 204 
4, 5. Sapphire in the Emery of Naxos — A new combusti- 
ble gas, - 205 
6. Voyage to the Eastern Seas — in 1816, &c. by Captain 

Basil Hall, R. N. F. R. S., - - 206 


Art. I. Notice of the Tockoa and Tallulah Falls in Georgia ; 

by A. Foster, - 209 

II. Miscellaneous Notices of Mineral Localities, with Ge- 
ological Remarks ; by Prof. Edward Hitchcock, 2 1 5 

III. Notices of Prof. Olmsted's Report on the Geology of 

North Carolina, - - - 230 

IV. Prof. Beck on the Chlorides of Soda, Lime, &c, 251 
V. Notice of a peculiarity in Vision ; by Chauncey E. 

Goodrich, - 264 

VI. Observations on Surveying Instruments, and the means 

of remedying their imperfections ; by Lucius Lyon, 
Surveyor and Civil Engineer — (with a print,) 268 

VII. Dr. S. P. Hildreth on the Shells, found in the waters 

of the Muskingum River, Little Muskingum and 
Duck Creek, near Marietta, Ohio, (with figures,) 276 
VIII. On the Boulders of Primitive Rocks found in Ohio, 
and other western states and territories ; by Ben- 
jamin Tappan, - - - 291 

IX. On the Principles of Motion, and their use in the high- 

er branches of Mathematics, - - 297 

X. On moving Stones, in Lakes, Ponds, &c. ; by Nathan- 

iel Chipman, - 303 

XL A Description of the Mineralogy and Geology of a 
part of Nova Scotia ; by Charles T. Jackson and 
Francis Alger, (with a map, &c.) - - 305 

XII. A Theory of Fluxions ; by Elizer Wright, (with fig- 
ures,) - 330 

XIII. Caricography ; by Prof. Dewey, (with figures,) 351 

XIV. Some new modifications of apparatus ; by Prof. Ro- 

bert Hare, M. D., - - - - 354 

XV. General Geological Strata; by Prof. Amos Eaton, 359 



I. Foreign. 


I, 2. Oil of the seed Croton Tiglium — Strength of Leaden 

Pipes, - - - 369 

3. Inspiration of Inflammable Gas, - - 370 

4, 5. Artificial Gold a new alloy — Comparative analysis of 

the elastic Bitumen of England and France, 371 

6,7. Proportion of Male and Female Children — On the spe- 
cies or varieties in the Human Race, - 372 
8, 9, 10. A new mode of preparing paper for draughtsmen, 
&c. — Formation of metallic copper by water and 
fi re — On the poison of the common Toad, 373 

II, 12. Opposite effects of a change of density of the air, 

as affecting the going of a clock — Distribution of 
land and water, - 375 

13. Notice of steatite or soapstone, - - 376 

14. Botany. — M. Ramond on the Vegetation of the summit 

of the Pyrenees, - 377 

15. Polar Fogs, ----- 378 

16. Mode of preserving wooden buildings from the effects 

of fire, - - - - - 379 

17. Premiums awarded by the French Academy, - 380 

18. University of Halle — Jubilee Fete of Chancellor Nie- 

meyer, - 381 

19. Chlorine and Chlorides, - - - 382 

20. 21. Analysis of Tourmaline — Capillary Action, 384 
22, 23, 24. Intense Light — Solubility of Silex — Theory of 

Nitrification, - 385 

25. New Compounds of Bromine, ... 386 

26, 27, 28. Formation of Ammonia — Fluoric Acid and Flu- 

ates — Emigration of Butterflies, - - 387 

29. Rewards of Science, - 389 

30. Sulphate of Quinine, - - - - 390 

31. 32. Rural Economy — On a Gelatinous Quartz; by M. 

Guillemin, - - - 391 

33, 34. Extract of a letter addressed to M. de Ferussac, 
Berlin, Feb. 27, 1827— The Duke de la Rochefou- 
cauld, - - - - - 392 

II. Domestic. 

1. Singular organic relic, . - - - 393 

2. Plane surfaces not separated by a blast in certain cases, 395 

3. Singular appearance of circles around the moon, 397 



4. Meteorological Table, - - - - 398 

5. Poscript to the Pluviometrical Observations of Dr. Dar- 

lington, published at p. 29, of this volume, 399 

6 7 8. New Haven Gymnasium — Notice — Chesterfield 

Tourmalines, 400 


Page 60, fifth line from bottom, for quantities read quantities. 

" » last line but one, for P X .6366 = &c. "Px .6366 X &C. 

" 61, third line from top, for Hogan " Hoyau. 

" " twenty third line from top, for on the " or the. 

« " sixth line from bottom, But c/= AB " But C/= AB. 

" 62, fifteenth line from top, for Hogan " Hoyau. 

In the diagram, page 61 for b on the circumference, be- 
tween c and d read/. 

" 64, for frontispiece read plate. 

" 101, for Cleavland read Cleaveland. 

K 87, line 4 from bottom, for combustible read combustibles. 

" 145, line 18 from top, after expectation put a period. 

" 146, line 11 from bottom, after slate, dele the comma. 

" 147, line 19 from top, for ruinous read numerous. 

" line 2 from bottom, after rock, dele the period, and in- 
sert a comma, and the same after ferriferous, the lat- 
ter to begin with a smail letter. 

" 149, line 24 from top, for slate read slaty, same paragraph? 
for Chip read Clip. 

u 265, line 20 from top, after with, dele much. 




Art. I. — On the Mineralogy of Chester County, with an 
account of some of the Minerals of Delaware, Maryland, 
and other localities $ by George W. Carpenter, of Phi- 

Assisted by my friend Mr. George Spackman of Phila- 
delphia, I published in the 9th Vol. of this Journal, an ac- 
count of the various minerals, which we found on a tour 
made in 1825, through Chester county and part of the state 
of Delaware. On a late revisit to these localities, and a 
further extent of investigation, I discovered many additional 
localities of interesting minerals, which with the previous 
catalogue already described, will embrace most of the min- 
erals contained in the severals townships which have yet 
been explored. 

Chester county presents to the mineralogists a rich field 
for investigation. Her limestone, serpentine and gneiss, the 
predominant rocks of the county, contain inexhaustible 
beds of interesting minerals, and the numerous quarries every 
where in operation, greatly facilitate the means of procuring 
them. These circumstances, with the polite attention mani- 
fested towards strangers by the inhabitants of the county, 
and the singular hospitality which particularly characterizes 
them, are inducements of the strongest nature for encour- 
aging the mineralogist, to visit this county in preference to 
almost any section of country. 

It is a gratifying circumstance for the lovers of natural 
history, to learn that mineralogy, its most interesting, use- 
ful and important department, is making rapid advancement 
in this county, and in the state of Delaware. Almost all 
classes of society are taking an interest in its promotion, par- 
ticularly the farmers, and if the same zeal and ardor for 

Vol. XIV.— No. J. 1 

2 On the Mineralogy of Chester County, Penn. $c„ 

investigation continue uninterrupted, we may reasona- 
bly expect some valuable acquisitions to result from their 
researches. Already several valuable materials have been 
found in abundance, Magnesite and ferruginous oxide of 
chrome, (chromateof Iron,)* have been extensively and ad- 
vantageously worked for epsom salt, and chrome yellow. 
These articles, a few years since, were received exclusively 
from England ; they are now made from the above materials of 
equal quality as the foreign, and at a lower rate than they 
can be imported, \vhich has eventuated in the total exclu- 
sion of the foreign articles, and such has been the march of 
improvement, and the advancement of science, that a cabi- 
net of Natural Science! has been established at West 

* This mineral has been very improperly termed chromate of Iron by the 
most respectable authors. Iron forms a very inconsiderable proportion of the min- 
eral, and the chrome is not in the state of an acid but in that of an oxyde ; it may 
therefore with more propriety be called a ferruginous oxide of chrome. 

■f The West Chester Cabinet of Natural Sciences was organised in 1826, and 
is already m possession of a fine collection of minerals, and an extensive her- 
barium, and contributions through the zeal and activity of the members are* 
daily making to each department ; under these circumstances the institution is 
now in a rapidly improving condition. The minerals are arranged in two de- 
partments, one of which is devoted exclusively to the minerals of Chester 
county, by which you may view at a glance, all the minerals which have yet 
been discovered. The other is a general cabinet, arranged according to Professor 
Cieavland's admirable system, and includes, besides those of the county and neigh- 
borhood, a considerable number from various localities in America and Europe. 

Distieguished credit is due to Mr. John W. Townsend, corresponding secre- 
tary, and to H. H. Van Amringe, A. Marshall, and Townsend Haines, Esqrs.. 
curators, for their indefatigable zeal, indnstry, and consequent success, as 
manifested by the present favorable condition, of this department of the cab- 
inet; also to William Jackson, Vice President, and Mr. Joel Baily of East 
Marlborough, for their very liberal donations. 

There are also two herbariums, containing upwards of two thousand species. 
One is devoted exclusively, to the plants of the county, and denominated the 1 
Chester county herbarium, which contains specimens of nearly all the known 
indigenous plants of the county. Since the publicationof the Florula Cestrica, 
a recent valuable work by Dr. Darlington, several species, not enumerated in the 
catalogue of that publication, have been added to the collection. The other is de- 
nominated the general herbarium, is arranged according to. the natural order of 
Josseau, and contains about one thousand two hundred specimens, many of 
which are from the United States, but the greater number have been received 
from France and Germany, and constant additions are making to the herbarium 
through Dr. William Darlington, President of the Institution, to whose scien- 
tific and critical knowledge of this interesting department of natural science, 
with his persevering industry and zeal, in arranging, collecting and exchanging 
specimens, the cabinet is exclusively indebted for the remarkable condition of 
its herbarium, which reflects high honor upon the institution. Dr. Darling-- 
ton's arrangement, independently of many conveniences, affords so great facility,, 
that a plant of any class and species may be selected, without the least difficulty 

On lite Mineralogy of Chester County, Penn, ■$•& $ 

Chester, and is now in a flourishing condition, and under the 
most favorable circumstances for becoming a highly useful 
and important institution. An institution* of the same kind has 
just been established at Wilmington, under the most favorable 
auspices, and bids fair to prosper. 

Among the townships of Chester county, East Marlbo* 
Tough, London Grove, Newlin and East Bradford, have been 
most examined. Pennsbury, Kennet, New Garden, West 
Marlborough, West Bradford, West Goshen and Westown, 
have been examined to a certain extent. Penn, Londonder- 
ry, Upper and Lower Oxford, East and West Fallowfield, 
New London, and East and West Nottingham, have been 
-scarcely examined at all by the mineralogist. The townships 
which have not yet been explored, are in the south west 
part of the county, and as most of them contain abun- 
dant beds of limestone and ridges of serpentine, they will 
no doubt disclose, on examination, many new and interes- 
ting minerals. 

East Marlborough is more remarkable for the great varie- 
ty of minerals, than for the abundance of any one kind, ex- 
cept the carbonate of lime, which forms extensive beds 
throughout ^he township, and the extreme value of this min- 
eral in enriching and improving the soil, is admirably display- 
ed, in the luxuriance of almost every vegetable species 
within its influence. 

Newlin is not only remarkable for a considerable variety 
of minerals, but particularly for the great abundance of its 
serpentine, quartz and beryl ; the two latter occur of an in- 
teresting character, and are extremely abundant, particular- 
ly the beryl, which constitutes almost a distinct formation, 
and the place has, from this circumstance, been denominated 
by the mineralogists, beryl hill, by which name it is known 

in a minute of time, and without disturbing the arrangement. The rapid pro- 
gress which this institution has made within the short period since its establish- 
ment, and the augmenting interest which the agriculturists of the county are 
taking in its support, warrant the most favorable anticipations of its future 
usefulness and importance. 

* The Delaware academy of Natural Sciences has, within a few months, been 
established at Wilmington. They are pursuing the same course as the cabinet 
of West Chester, in collecting the natural productions of the country, and have 
already a good collection of the minerals which have yet been discovered in 
their state and vicinity. They possess some extremely active and zealous mem- 
bers who wDl no doubt exalt the institution, by increasing the means of its 
usefulness and prosperity. 

4 On the Mineralogy of Chester County, Penn. <§-c. 

through several townships. Large quantities of detached crys- 
tals of beryls, may, at all times, be dug within a foot or two 
from the surface. Drusy quartz, of white, yellow and rich 
green colors, occurs in considerable quantity, in the vicinity. 

Westown Township. 

This township was not noticed in the former description, 
and has been as yet but partially explored ; the following are 
the most important minerals which have been discovered. 
Earthy and ferruginous oxide of manganese, of excellent 

quality, for employment in the arts and manufactures. I 

presented a sample to Mr. Abraham Miller, an ingenious 

potter of this city, who made use of it in his manufacture, 

and pronounced it equal to the imported. It occurs on 

Joseph Osburne's farm, three miles south of West Chester. 

It has not yet been worked, but its position and external 

appearances render it probable, that it is abundant. 
Siliceous oxide and carbonate of manganese, of a reddish 

and yellowish brown color, and of a somewhat foliated 

structure, same locality. 
Manganesian garnet, massive, of a reddish brown color, 

same locality. 
Black schorl, traversing quartz in cylindrical crystals, very 

beautiful, on Joseph Osburne's farm. 
Fine acicular and fibrpus hornblende, of a jet black color, 

same locality. 
Limpid and smoky quartz, in beautiful transparent crystals, 

hexahedral prisms terminated by pyramids, loose in the 

soil, Joseph Osburne's farm. 

A mine was opened on this farm about sixty years since 
for silver ore, and a small portion of the metal was obtained. 
It was however abandoned in consequence of the minute 
quantity yielded, and a doubtful prospect of its producing 
advantageously. The oxides and carbonates of manganese, 
and the manganesian garnet, occur also, on William Os- 
burne's farm adjoining. 

East Bradford Township. 

Cyanite, in oblique tetrahedral prisms, (primitive form,) from 
one quarter to one inch in thickness, and from one to three 
inches in length, occurs in mica slate and detached crys- 
tals, on the Strasburg road, near the bridge on the east 
branch of the Brandywine — abundant. 

On the Mineralogy of Chester County, Penn. fyc. 5 

Zircon, an interesting locality of this mineral occurs in bluish 
quartz, near Jeffries' ford. 

Feldspar, of a bluish color and lamellar structure, occurs near 
Jeffries' ford on the Brandywine. 

Amethyst, of a rich violet color, highly transparent, in hexa- 
hedral prisms terminated by pyramids, occurs detached in 
the soil, on James Gibbon's farm, three miles south of 
West Chester. Fine specimens from this locality, are in 
the cabinet of Natural Sciences of West Chester. 

Sulphuret of iron, in large cubic crystals, on R. Woodward's 

Red oxide of titanium, same locality. 

Sulphuret of iron, in cubic crystals, on Job Darlington's farm. 

Plumbago, same locality. 

Necronite, well characterized in disseminated masses, in Ben- 
jamin Copes' quarry. 

Schorl, of a beautiful jet black color, on J. Painter's farm. 

Pennsborough Township. 

Necronite, in carbonate of lime, in Mendenhall's lime quar- 

Amethyst, in beautiful violet crystals, on George Darlington's 
farm, adjoining Wister's. 

Bog iron ore, same locality. 

Mica, in regular hexahedral prisms, in granite, near Darling- 
ton's mill. 

Newlin Township. 

Green quartz, in drusy clusters and prismatic crystals, on the 

serpentine ridge near Mason's farm. 
Limpid quartz, in hexahedral prisms terminated by pyramids, 

in carbonate of lime, in Edwards' lime quarries. 
Fluate of lime, of a deep blue color, in small cubic crystals, 

same locality. 
Calcareous spar, in rhombic crystals and hexahedral prisms, 

having irregular sides, same locality. 
Schorl, in beautiful cylindrical crystals, of a jet black color, 

same locality. 
Beryl, of a rich green color, near William Embrie's malt 

house, in detached crystals. 
Green mica, in foliated masses and crystallized in granite, 

near the celebrated beryl locality. 
Green foliated talc, same locality. 

6 On the Mineralogy of Chester County, Penn. fyc 

Sulphuret of iron, in cubic crystals, same locality. 

Mica, of a grass green color, beautifully striated, near Brandy- 
wine bridge, Ihree miles west of Chester county poor 

East Marlborough Township. 

Iserine, in detached crystals and granular masses, at David 
Persey's mill race, also in quartz, in tetrahedral prisms stri- 
ated, in John Baily's lime quarry. 

Tremolite, beautifully crystallized, in oblique four sjded prisms, 
the acute lateral edges truncated with dihedral summits, in 
John Baily's lime quarry. 

Sulphuret of iron, in cubic crystals occasionally truncated, on 
all its angles, also in dodecahedrons, in John Baily's lime 

Epidote, in hexahedral prisms, sometimes truncated on the 
edges, of a yellowish green color, on Isaac Taylor's farm, 
adjoining John Baily's, south. 

Foliated talc, white and green, on A. Marshall's farm, also on 
McCloud's, adjoining. 

West Marlborough Township. 

Phosphate of lime, in hexahedral prisms, of a yellowish green 
color, in granular limestone, in Bernard's quarry. 

Iserine. Beautiful specimens of this mineral occur in tetra- 
hedral prisms, truncated on the angles, longitudinally stri- 
ated, with oblique summits, in Bernard's lime quarry. 

Brown spar, in small rhombic crystals, with the planes slight- 
ly curved, in Bernard's lime quarry. 

Dogtooth spar, (carb. of lime) in semi transparent straw col- 
ored crystals, McNeal's lime quarry. 

New Garden Township. 

Fibrolite, of a greyish white color, in little bundles of deli- 
cate fibres and acicular crystals intimately connected, on 
Nathan Scarlet's farm, south of Phillips' quarry. 

Black schorl, in cylindrical crystals and fibres, a very beauti- 
ful variety of this mineral, same locality. 

Phosphate of lime, in hexahedral prisms, of a green color, 
same locality. 

Garnets, in dodecahedral crystals, of a deep red color, in mica 
slate, same locality. 

Fibrous carbonate of lime, in J. Phillip's lime quarry. 

On the Mineralogy of Chester County, Fenn. fyc. 7 

Carbonate of lime, in beautiful arborescent mammilary and 
botryoidal concretions, in Joshua Pusey's lime quarry. 

Tremolite, in fine acicular crystals, and fibres of a pure snow 
white color, radiating and diverging, in Brown's quarry. 

Kaolin, an extensive bed of this mineral occurs on Israel 
Hoope's farm, New Garden township. This substance is 
extensively employed in the manufacture of porcelain 
ware. Two manufactories, and the only ones yet estab- 
lished in this country, are supplied from this locality. 

West Bradford Township. 

Diallage and saussurite, near Worth's tavern, onthe Stras- 
burg road. 

Chromate of iron, in detached masses, and disintegrated 
crystals, same locality. 

Epidote, in beautiful hexahedral prisms, with dihedral summits, 
of a resplendent bottle green color ; the crystals are from 
one half to three inches in length, and from T \ to £ of an 
inch in diameter, fully equal in size and beauty to those of 
the celebrated locality of Arendal in Norway, occurs in 
primitive hornblende, on Smith's and McMullins farms, ad- 
joining each other. 

Zeolite, in fascicular groups of minute crystals and fibres, ra- 
diating from a central point, of a snow white color, and 
pearly lustre, forming narrow veins in primitive hornblende, 
on Robert Lambern's farm. 

Chabasie, in rombic crystals, of a reddish brown color, in 
hornblende associated with zeolite, same locality. 

Silico-calcareous oxide of titanium, in rhomboidal prisms, with 
dihedral summits, in a gangue of hornblende and feldspar, 
same locality. 

Blue feldspar, of the lamellar variety, striated on the surface, 
same locality. 

Mica, in rhomboidal and hexahedral prisms, in granite, one 
mile north of Sharplesstown, on the Wilmington road. 

Amethyst, of a deep violet color, in hexahedral prisms, with 
pyramidal terminations, loose in the soil, on George Pass- 
more's farm. 

Fetid quartz, well characterized, in R. Wood's lime quarry. 

Limpid quartz, in hexahedral prisms, with pyramidal termina- 
tions, in the lime quarries near the poor house. 

Iserine, in striated cylindrical crystals,, imbedded in quartz., 
same locality. 

8 On the Mineralogy of Chester County, Penn. fyc. 

Sulphuret of iron, in cubic crystals, occasionally truncated 
on the angles, same locality. 

London Grove Township. 

Tremolite, in fibrous and radiated masses, in Ephraim Wil- 
son's quarry. 

Phosphate of lime, perfectly transparent, of a rich bottle 
green color, in hexahedral prisms and massive, on Allison's 
farm ; this interesting locality was discovered by Dr. Alli- 
son who has liberally distributed specimens among our 

Tourmaline, of a beautiful velvet black, in hexahedral prisms, 
terminated with trihedral faces, set on the lateral edges, on 
William Jackson's farm. 

Red oxide of titanium, in tetrahedral prisms, with dihedral sum- 
mits in gneiss, also massive, on Wm. Jackson's farm. 

Iserine, in tetrahedral prisms, truncated on the angles, and 
longitudinally striated, in W. Jackson's lime quarry. 

Tremolite, crystallized, and in radiated fibres, same locality. 

Foliated and fine scaly talc, of a white color, in Mitchiner's 
quarry, adjoining W. Jackson's. 

Brown tourmaline, in hexahedral prisms, in carbonate of lime, 
a beautiful mineral, in W. Jackson's, and Pile & Morris- 
son's lime quarries. 

Crystallized quartz,* in hexahedral prisms with pyramidal 
summits, transparent, in Pile & Morrison's quarry. 

Brown spar, in rhombic crystals, slightly curved, of a brown- 
ish color and beautiful pearly lustre, same locality. 

Fetid quartz, well characterized, same locality. 

Magnesian carbonate of lime, in rhombic masses and crystals, 
same locality. 

Quartz, of a milk white color, on W. Jackson's farm. 

Cyanite. An interesting locality of cyanite in the primitive 
form, has been discovered in this vicinity, by Dr. Allison. 

Garnets, in dodecahedral crystals, abundant in the gneiss 
rocks, and detached, on W. Jackson's farm and neighbor- 
hood ; a specimen in the museum of the West Chester 
cabinet, measures 6.75 inches in circumference. 

* A specimen of limpid quartz from Morrison's quarry, presented to the cabi- 
net of Natural Sciences by W. Jackson, and now in their museum, a hexahedral 
prism with pyramidal termination, measures sixteen inches in circumference. 

On the Mineralogy of Chester County, Penn. $>c. 9 

Specular oxide of iron, in quartz, near London Grove mee- 
ting house. 

Mica, of a leek green color, on W. Jackson's farm. 

Cyanite, in fascicular groups, of bladed crystals, of a pale 
and sky blue color, on W. Jackson's farm. 

Black and reddish brown schorl, in acicular diverging crys- 
tals, and fibres in quartz, on W. Jackson's farm. 

Smoky quartz, six sided prisms, detached in the soil, on W. 
Jackson's farm. 

Calcareous spar, striated diagonally, to the rombic cleavage, 
on W. Jackson's farm. 

Dogtooth spar, of a straw yellow color, in semi-transparent 
crystals, in W. Jackson's lime quarries. 

Epidote, in hexahedral prisms, of a bottle green color, in 
Mitchiner's lime quarry. 

Red jasper, in detached masses, on W. Jackson's farm. 

New London Township. 

Fibrolite, in delicate fibres, intimately connected, of agreyish 
white color and glistening aspect, on Robert Hudson's 

Schorl, in cylindrical crystals, of a jet black color, same lo- 

Sundry Localities in Chester County. 

Zoisite, in rhomboidal, cylindrical and acicular crystals, of a 
grey color, in gneiss, in Bathwoods, near West Chester, 
West Goshen township, discovered by Townsend Haines, 

Oxide of iron, the red hematitic variety, on the serpentine 
ridge, Nottingham township. 

Magnesite, forming narrow veins, in the serpentine ridge, 
West Goshen. 

Mica, in beautiful hexahedral prisms, Kennet township. 

Stalactical carbonate of lime, of a snow white color, in arbo- 
rescent, reniform, mammilary and botryoidal concretions, 
in John Robert's lime quarry, West Whiteland, Chester 
county, four miles north of West Chester. 

Actynolite, in chlorite slate, near Waggontown, Chester 

Amianthus, in delicate silky fibres, forming minute veins in 
serpentine, Joseph Taylor's quarry, West Goshen, near 
West Chester. 
Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 2 

10 On the Mineralogy of Chester County, Perm. fyc. 

Plumbago, in quartz, near Charleston village, Charleston 

Epidote, in hexahedral prisms, of a yellowish green color, 

Strode's mill, near West Chester. 
Oxide of iron, highly magnetic, near Goshen meeting house, 

East Goshen township. 
Garnets, in dodecahedral crystals, of abrown color, abundant 

on A. Hoope's farm, East Goshen township. 
Bog iron ore, on Pennypacker's farm, Charleston township. 

Little Britain Township, Lancaster County, Perm. 

Octahedral magnetic oxide of iron, on the serpentine ridge, 
on Joel Jackson's farm. 

Massive and crystallized ferruginous oxide of chrome, or 
chromate of iron, occurs on a minor ridge of serpentine, 
about a mile north of the main serpentine ridge, being 
about two miles west of the south western point of Chester 
county, on the property of McKim, Sims, & Co. of Balti- 
more, adjoining Joel Jackson's farm. The disintegrated 
crystals of chromate of iron, are found coating the cavities 
of all the ravines made in the sides of the hill, and indicate 
the existence of this valuable material in quantity. 

Magnesite. An extensive locality of this valuable mineral oc- 
curs, forming veins in the serpentine of considerable thick- 
ness, same locality ; and is now extensively quarried and 
manufactured by Messrs. McKim, Sims, & Co. of Balti- 
more, into sulphate of magnesia, (Epsom salts.) These 
gentlemen have succeeded in making a purer salt at a 
much less price than it can be imported, which has entire- 
ly excluded importation ; and the United States are now 
almost entirely supplied from this establishment. Four 
hundred or five hundred tons of magnesite, have been ob- 
tained from this locality, and Messrs. McK. & S. manufac- 
ture 1 ,500,000 lbs. of Epsom salt annually. 

Actynolite, in green compressed crytals, in talc, serpentine 
ridge, on Joel Jackson's farm. 

Noble serpentine, with delicate veins of amianthus, serpen- 
tine ridge, on Joel Jackson's farm. 

Chalcedony. An interesting locality of this mineral occurs 
near the magnesite above described, and about one and a 
half miles distant from the celebrated locality at Rocks 
springs, described in my former paper, and near the local- 
ity of magnesite and chromate of iron. 

On the Mineralogy of parts of Delaware, fyc. 1 1 


New Castle County. 

Phosphate of lime, in granite, of a bluish green color, in 
hexahedral prisms, occasionally longitudinally striated, 
from T \ to one and a half inches in diameter, and from 
half to two inches in length, abundant on a farm adjoin- 
ing Wistar Dixon's east, and about six miles from Wil- 

Beryl, of a fine apple green color, in hexahedral prisms, in 
granite, on a farm adjoining Dixon's, and near the serpen- 
tine ridge. 

Precious garnets, in granite, of a brilliant red color, in dode- 
cahedrons, on Dixon's farm in the wood near the house. 

Schorl, of a dark red color, in cylindrical crystals, in granite, 
same locality. 

Brown and red hematite, on the serpentine ridge, near. 

Jasper, of a reddish brown, and yellowish color, forming 
veins, in serpentine, Dixon's farm. 

Quartz, of a reddish brown color, in six sided prisms, ter- 
minated at both extremities, by six sided pyramids, re- 
sembling the quartz of Compostella, same locality, also, 
near the Centerville turnpike. 

Drusy quartz, limpid, yellow and green, in beautiful clusters 
of minute crystals, same locality. 

Feldspar. An extensive bed of this mineral, occurs adjoining 
Dixon's farm, the land containing it has lately been pur- 
chased by Mr. W. E. Tucker of Philadelphia, who em- 
ploys the article extensively in the manufacture of porce- 
lain ware. This ware of which the feldspar, is an impor- 
tant constituent, has been . brought to such perfection by 
Mr. William E. Tucker, that it is pronounced by compe- 
tent judges, to possess a soundness of body, smoothness of 
glazing, and beauty of lustre, fully equal to the imported, 
and surpasses in purity of whiteness, either the French 
or English china, which is met with in our market. 

Epidote, massive, and crystallized, in primitive hornblende, 
on the Kennet turnpike, near the Buck tavern. 

Lamellar hornblende, possessing somewhat the lustre and 
colors of the hypersthene, same locality, 

12 On the Mineralogy of parts of Mary. Penn. fyc. 

Maryland. — Cecil County. 

Schorl, of a velvet black color, in beautiful cylindrical crystals, 
disseminated in quartz, near the falls of north east creek. 

Actynolite, of a bottle green color, in compressed acicular 
crystals, in talc, near Cooptown, Harford county. 

Magnetic oxide of iron, massive, and in octahedral crystals, 
in chlorite slate, same locality. 

Fibrous talc, of a reddish color, same locality. 

Magnesite. An extensive locality of this valuable mineral, oc- 
curs at Bare Hill, near Baltimore, and has been extensively 
employed in the manufacture of Epsom salts ; it is now 
obtained from Little Britain township, Lancaster county, 
as before described. 

Bucks County, Penn. 

Magnetic oxide of iron, half a mile above Newport, on the 
Neshamony creek. This ore was formerly worked, but 
has been abandoned, in consequence of not producing 

Serpentine, having distinct laminae, slightly curved. These 
pervade the serpentine in spots, and when viewed in direc- 
tion of the laminae, have a shining and pearly lustre, and 
when contrasted with the greenish black, dull, and opaque 
color of the serpentine, have a glistening and metallic ap- 
pearance, somewhat resembling hypersthene, half a mile 
below Newport, on Roldman's run. 

Lamellar feldspar, the glassy variety and graphic granite, at 

Tourmaline, of a rich black color, in eight sided prisms, lon- 
gitudinally striated, terminated by three sided pyramids, 
in granite which forms veins in gneiss, at Nevil's academy, 
near Bustleton. 

Cyanite, of a fine blue color, in flat crystals or blades, in 
quartz, forming a vein in gneiss, near the same locality. 

Scaly talc, in detached masses, occasionally containing as- 
bestos, same locality. 

Asbestoid actynolite, in silky fibres and acicular crystals, ra- 
diating from a centre in beautiful tufts, in detached mas- 
ses, from one to fifty pounds weight, in a wood, half a 
mile east of Bustleton. 

Magnesian garnets, massive, of a lamellar structure, on the 
Penny pack creek, three miles from Bustleton, at the 
mouth of the Sandy run. 

Black oxide of manganese, in gneiss, same locality. 

On the Mineralogy of Bucks County, Penn. fyc. 1 3 

Phosphate of lime, in six sided prisms, terminated by six si- 
ded pyramids, of a light green color, in quartz, same lo- 
Iridescent feldspar, of a bluish white color, resembling the 
Labrador spar, on the farm of Mr. Jacob Van Arsdalen, 
three miles west of Attleboro,' and seven north of Bus- 
Tremolite, of a grass green color, in carbonate of lime, in 
oblique tetrahedral prisms, having the acute edges trun- 
cated, with dihedral summits, occasionally transparent, 
Van Arsdalen's farm, same locality. 
Actynolite, of a deep green color, same locality. 
Mica, in six sided prisms, in granite, fibrous structure, in a 
diagonal direction to the angles of the prism, in which 
direction it may be cleaved, and numerous delicate fibres 
separated, on the Penny pack creek, one mile south west 
of Bustleton. 

For the discovery of the above localities, in Bucks county, 
we are indebted to our friend Dr. Edward Swift, an indefati- 
gable mineralogist of Bustleton, Penn. 

At the locality of tremolite, iridescent feldspar and acty- 
nolite, on Jacob Van Arsdalen's farm, the following interes- 
ting minerals, also occur, which render this locality suf- 
ficiently attractive to mineralogists. 

1 . Tabular spar, in masses of several tons weight, analyzed 
by Dr. Morton, and Mr. J. P. Wetherill, who obtained 
the following constituents : — 

Silex, - - - - 51.50 

Lame, .... 44.10 

Oxide of iron, ... 1.00 

Lost by calcination, - - .75 

Scapolite, massive and crystallized. 3. Pyroxene, in hex- 
ahedral prisms. 4. Zircon, forme soustrative of Hauy. 5. 
Mica, clove brown, and emerald green. 6. Blue quartz, 
in small quantity. 7. Feldspar, massive, of a dark blue 
color, also in rhombic prisms, with the terminal angles 
truncated, Unitaire of Hauy. 8. Garnet, granular and in 
small dodecahedral crystals. 9. Phosphate of lime, mas- 
sive, and in hexahedral prisms. 10. Graphite, massive, 
and in delicate hexagonal tables. 11. Sulphuret of iron, 
massive, and in octohedral crystals. 12. Silico-calcareous? 
oxide of titanium, in oblique four sided prisms. 

14 On the Mineralogy of Phila. County, Penn. fyc. 

I have merely given a catalogue of these minerals, as an elab- 
orate and detailed account of them, has been published by Dr. 
Samuel G. Morton, of Philadelphia, in the Journal of the 
Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, for June, 1827. 

Philadelphia County. 

Sil.-calcar. oxide of titanium, in olique four sided prisms, at 
Radner's mill, near the falls of Schuylkill, also on the 
township line road, near Rittenhouse's smith shop. 

Phosphate of lime, massive, and in hexahedral prisms, imbed- 
ded in feldspar, on the township line road, same locality. 

Graphite, massive, in gneiss rock, on Robinson's hill, on the 
Schuylkill, five miles from Philadelphia. 

Limpid quartz, in hexahedral prisms, with pyramidal termi- 
nations, in detached crystals, same locality. 

Chalcedony, on Longstroth's farm, near the York road, five 
miles from Philadelphia. 

White beryl, in granite, hexahedral prisms, in Day's cave, 
near the residence of William Wister, Esq. 

Graphic granite, and laminated feldspar, same locality. 

Cyanite, in bladed crystals, from a pale to a deep sky blue, 
in granite, near Livezly's mill, on the Wisahicon. 

Tourmaline, of a velvet black color, in hexahedral prisms, 
near Rittenhouse's paper mill, on the Wisahicon. 

Hematite, (brown oxide of iron,) in mammilary masses, near 
Jacob Wise's mill, on the Wisahicon. 

Red oxide of titanium, massive and crystallized, in clay slate, 
on Wise's lane, near Wisahicon. 

Limpid quartz, in pyramidal clusters and drusy aggregates, 
same locality. 

Smoky quartz, highly transparent, near the township line 
road, six miles from Philadelphia. 
My friend Mr. John Wister, of Germantown, has obtained 

very fine specimens from each of the above localities of 

Philadelphia county. 

Having on hand duplicates of all the above minerals, with 

an extensive collection from other localities, I shall be happy 

to exchange them for those from other districts. 

George W. Carfenter, No. 221, Market street. 

P. S. The manufactory of porcelain at Jersey city, one of 
the two mentioned in the above account, has we understand 
been discontinued, and that at Philadelphia, is stated to be 
the only one in the United States. — Ed. 

On the Geology fyc. near West Chester, Pa. 1 5 

Art. II. — On the Geology and Mineralogy of the country 
near West Chester, Penn. ; by J. Finch, M. C. C. &c. 

Chester County, in Pennsylvania, possesses much inter- 
est to the geologist and mineralogist, on account of the 
beauty, and variety of the specimens it affords. 

If a line be drawn from the battle ground near Chad's ford, 
passing through West Chester in a northerly direction, and 
extending beyond the bounds of the county, the following 
formations may be noticed on the route. 

1 Gneiss, containing subordinate strata of hornblende 
slate, serpentine, and limestone. - 8 miles 

2 Mica slate, - - - 2 do 

3 Primitive limestone, - - - 1| " 

4 Transition quartz rock, - - - H u 

5 Gneiss, and hornblende slate, - - 6 " 

6 Second or variegated sandstone, - - 4 " 

7 Newest flcetz trap, - - 1 " 

1. Gneiss. This is composed of the usual ingredients, 
quartz, feldspar, and mica, arranged in slaty laminse, at an angle 
of 70° to 80° to the horizon. On some of the hills, hard 
masses of the rock may be seen, but, more frequently, it has 
undergone decomposition to a depth of twenty or forty feet. 
In the defiles formed by many of the roads, this'may easily 
be seen, and the superior fertility of Chester county, is to be 
attributed to this cause. The surface of the rock is distin- 
guished by its undulating character, which forms a pleasing- 
feature in the landscape. 

The hornblende slate, contained, in the gneiss formation, 
is composed of quartz, feldspar and hornblende, the latter 
mineral predominates and forms two thirds of the mass. 
Frequently only feldspar and hornblende occur. It is slaty, 
and the rock will usually break, though with difficulty, in 
the direction of the laminse. Where it is abundant on the 
surface of the ground, it is very troublesome to the farmers, 
as it resists decomposition. The limestone occurs in several 
strata, varying in breadth from thirty to one hundred feet, 
and in some situations probably more. It is rendered la- 
mellar by mica, and the laminae vary from two to twelve in- 
ches in thickness. It is crystalline and contains magnesia. 
Color, white, greyish white, reddish and blue. The strata of 
limestone are probably contiguous with the gneiss, although 

16 On the Geology §c. near West Chester, Pa. 

quarries have been opened in few places. In the interven- 
ing spaces, it is in general too much covered with earth to 
be worked to advantage. 

Serpentine. This occurs in masses at irregular distances, 
and appears to form superincumbent masses reposing on the 
gneiss. It is universally distinguished by its sterility, and the 
fields, where it occurs have received the emphatic title of the 
" Barrens. 1 ' There is a great difference in the external char- 
acter of this rock, color usually blackish or yellowish green, 
sometimes red. On the exterior it decomposes white, and 
more rarely black. It is sometimes of a slaty structure and 
distinctly stratified. 

2. Mica Slate. This rock passes into clay slate, covered 
with a glaze of mica. The decomposition of the rock, yield- 
ing mica and quartz, produces a porous soil, distinguished 
by its sterility. By adding lime, it has been ameliorated. 
The water on this tract, is remarkably pure and limpid. 

3. Primitive Limestone. This varies much at different 
quarries. Color white, black and veined. Some varieties 
contain much carbon. In strata, inclined 70° to 80° and fre- 
quently contains fissures of unknown extent. It forms a dis- 
trict of country called the great Valley, which extends from 
the Schuylkill, to the Susquehanna. Soil fertile. 

4. Transition Quartz rock. This constitutes a range of 
hills, forming the north west boundary to the great valley. 
The rock is chiefly quartz, occasionally intermixed with feld- 
spar, and colored of a slight red tinge, from oxide of iron. 
Slaty, surface barren. Strata highly inclined. 

5. Gneiss, with hornblende slate, similar to that already 
described. The yellow springs are situated on this forma- 
tion, and from this source, derive their supply of chalybeate 

6. Second, or variegated Sandstone. It presents the usu- 
al varieties. The predominant rock, is an argillaceous sand- 
stone, containing much oxide of iron ; it is easily quarried, 
and makes a good building stone ; it alternates with slaty 
sandstone, which decomposes on exposure to the atmos- 
phere, and produces a soil easily cultivated. Inclination of 
the strata, 1 0° to 20.° The lead mines of Perkiomen, are situ- 
ated in this stratum, as are also, those in the vicinity of the farm 
of Wm. Everhart, Esq. six miles south west of Unionville. 

7. Newest floetz trap ; sometimes resembles the primitive 
hornblende slate, but is usually in amorphous masses, and 
the hornblende is not so distinctly crystallized. 

On the Geology fyc. near West Chester County, Pa. 1 7 

In general it is a rock of an homogeneous appearance, 
fracture conchoidal, splintery on the edges, color dark grey, 
passing to black, decomposes on the exterior, and is covered 
with a light grey crust. The formation extends ten miles 
in length, and half a mile to one mile in breadth. It is pro- 
bably a continuation of the range which crosses the state of 
New Jersey, and appears to be a superincumbent mass re- 
posing on the second sandstone. The trap rocks occur in 
immense masses on the surface of the ground. A highly 
picturesque view of them is afforded at the falls of French 
creek. The desolate wildness of the scene is seldom surpas- 
sed. Large blocks of trap rock, some of them weighing two 
or three hundred tons, have fallen from the summits of the 
adjacent hills, and nearly filled the bed of the creek for a 
space of two hundred yards. When the stream is small it 
finds a passage between or underneath the masses of rock, 
but, after much rain has fallen, the stream increased in size, 
dashes over with violence, and presents a splendid scene. 

Localities of Minerals. 

In Gneiss; at Joseph and William Osborne's farm. 
Oxide of Manganese. 
Da. covering Gneiss. 
Manganesian Garnet, massive. 

Schorl. This occurs abundantly in many other parts of 
the gneiss formation. 
At an eminence, one mile south of West Chester. 
Garnets, crystallized and amorphous. 
Zircon, crystallized in four sided prisms, in a bluish 
quartz, in the vicinity. 

Near the spring house. 
Zoisite, in rhomboidal prisms. 
At Way's hill, near Brinton's ford, on the Brandywine. 
Brucite or condrodite, in limestone. 
Coccolite, grey, and various shades of green. 

Sahlite, in small crystals. 

In serpentine, at Mr. Taylor's quarry. 
Asbestos ligniform. 

Scaly talc. 
Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 3 

1 8 On the Boundaries of Empires. 

Protoxide of iron, in octohedral crystals. 

Chromate of iron, forming a superficial blue covering 

on some specimens of serpentine. 
Carbonate of magnesia, pulverulent, in crusts and stel- 
lated crystals, sometimes colored by iron. 
Carbonate of lime, in veins. 
Chlorite slate. 

In serpentine, one mile from Mr. Taylor's house. 
Jasper, yellow, brown and red. 
Quartz crystals. 
Asbestos, in serpentine. 

Do. ligniform. 
Carbonate of magnesia. 

In primitive limestone, at Mr. Cope's quarry. 
Titanium, red oxide. 
Brown mica. 

Magnesian limestone, decomposing, forming sand. 
Coarse granular do. 
Necronite or fetid feldspar. 
Tremolite, glassy, fibrous. 

Near the Friends' meeting house. 
Sphene, augite and feldspar. 
The minerals from these various localities may be seen in 
the Museum of the Chester county Cabinet of Natural His- 
tory, which has been founded by the unremitted exertions of 
Dr. William Darlington and his friends. 
Philadelphia, Dec. 1, 1827. 

'*»■■. , , , • 

Art. III. — On the Effect of the Physical Geography of the 
world, on the Boundaries of Empires j by John Finch, 
F. B. S. &c. 

The limits of empires are controlled by two causes, the 
physical geography of the soil, and the power of man ; the 
first is eternal, the last variable ; thus, in examining history, 
we find that the first produces the most permanent effect. 

Nations often war against those eternal limits, which are 
pointed out by nature. 

On the Boundaries of Empires. 1& 

The Turks and Persians have, in modern times, renewed 
the ancient contest between the Romans and Parthians, and 
have fought for several centuries, without gaining perma- 
nently, one square mile of territory. 

The ancient Grecians fought for a thousand years, and 
their small republics, at the termination of the contest, re- 
tained their original boundaries. 

England and France have amused themselves by wars* 
which may continue till the end of time, without joining un- 
der one sceptre, the vineyards of Burgundy and the vallies 
of England. 

Alexander invaded the east, but he could not enlarge the 
confines of Macedonia. 

Buonaparte subdued Europe, but France is not now more 
extensive than formerly. 

Tamerlane overcame Asia, but it was not in his power to 
unite the fire worshippers of Persia with the sons of Confu- 
cius, nor could he join under one empire, the shepherds of 
Tartary and the agriculturists of India. 

When these phantoms of universal empire perish, nations re- 
sume their ancient limits. Conquer them, exterminate them* 
destroy the memory of their existence as a people; still the new 
kingdom will have the same limits as the old. A nation, sub- 
duing those by which it is surrounded, resembles a river over- 
flowing its banks; the flood gradually subsides, and the stream 
returns to its ancient channel. When successive hordes of 
barbarians invaded the dominion of imperial Rome, did they 
unite the frozen regions of the North with the olive gardens 
of the South? 

When England was conquered successively by the Ro- 
mans, Saxons, Danes, and Normans, did they surround with 
one rampart, Italy, Saxony, Denmark, Normandy and Eng- 
land ? The decisions of nature soon cut asunder the artificial 
arrangements of man. 

The barriers erected between communities of men vary in 
strength ; let us examine them in their order. 

1 . Forest.— In the infancy of man, the gloom of a forest 
often deters him from entering within its shade. The Her- 
cynian forest divided many of the ancient tribes of Ger- 
many, and its influence is still perceptible in that country. 
The divisions of some of the counties of England are derived 
from the same source. Many tribes of Indians in America 
are divided by thick woods. In the progress of time, nations 

20 On the Boundaries of Empires. 

cut clown the woods, and this is one reason why civilized na- 
tions have larger boundaries than those which are savage. 

2. Rivers. — In the first ages of man, rivers are a real 
boundary ; they prevent the passage of armies. They are 
now used as a boundary because they afford a definite line 
about which there can be no dispute. Europe, Asia, and 
America, afford numerous examples. A singular fact takes 
place in regard to them ; a small stream is a better division 
between nations than a large river. The Danube would not 
form a line of demarcation between Russia and Turkey, but 
that there is a sparse population on its banks. France has 
fought to obtain the boundary of the Rhine ; she must either 
advance to the mountains beyond, or retire to the next range 
of hills in her present territory. The reason of this law is 
obvious ; the fertile banks of large rivers are usually inhab- 
ited by numerous tribes of men, the calm and tranquil sur- 
face of the river invites them to cross over, the interests of 
commerce keep up a continual intercourse, the river is easily 
passed, and both banks must be united under one government. 
Never have the Ganges, the Nile, the Danube, or the Rhine 
seen hostile nations in possession of the opposite shores. 

The small stream which divides Spain and Portugal is a 
more lasting boundary than the Tagus would be if it flowed 
in the same direction. 

" Where Lusitania and her sister meet, 

Deem ye what bounds the rival realms divide ? 

Or ere the jealous queens of nations meet, 

Doth Tago interpose his mighty tide ? 

Or dark Sierras rise in craggy pride ? 

Or fence of art, like China's vasty wall ? 

No barrier wall ! no river deep and wide ! 

No horrid crags ! nor mountains dark and tall ! 

Rise like the rocks that part Hispania's land from Gaul." 

" But there between a silver streamlet glides, 
And scarce a name distinguisheth the brook, 
Though rival kingdoms press its verdant sides." 

3. Seas and Oceans. — These form a decided boundary to 
the greater number of nations ; but the effect of dominion 
at sea will be noticed hereafter. 

4. Mountains form a permanent and frequent boundary. 
They vary in their power to restrain nations within proper 
limits according to their breadth and altitude, but, on the 
whole surface of the earth, they form a real barrier. An in- 
dividual ascends a mountain, but he returns to dwell in the 

On the Boundaries of Empires. 21 

valley. The peasant of Hungary fears to ascend the hill 
which overlooks his native plain. 

" Mountains interposed 
Make enemies of nations, which had else, 
Like kindred drops, been moulded into one." 

5. Deserts. — I have mentioned the wars between the 
Turks and Persians, which are carried on across the deserts 
of Mesopotamia. The ancient kings of Egypt made fre- 
quent expeditions to conquer the Arabs dwelling on the 
sands of Africa, but they defied their armies. Ali Pacha has 
exerted himself in a similar way, with the same success. 

A desert forms a safe barrier to China. A desert and the 
Rocky Mountains form a boundary to the United States of 
America on land. 

1. The surface of the earth is thus separated into certain nat- 
ural divisions, which may be called natural kingdoms. Every 
island is a natural kingdom. Every part of the world which 
is surrounded by strong natural boundaries, is a natural king- 
dom. It is impossible to conquer one half of these divisions. 
In waging war with them, you must complete a total con- 
quest, or return. No army could conquer half China. The 
Tartars and native Chinese once made a treaty of partition; 
nature declared its execution to be impossible. 

Nor could the plains of England be divided between two 
kings. Canute and Edmund drew an imaginary line through 
the centre. The treaty could not be observed. 

When nations occupy part of natural kingdoms, they must 
advance or recede. The kingdom of Prussia must be bound- 
ed by new acquisitions, or she must recede. This is the 
reason why she is constantly armed. 

2. Small natural kingdoms, in the vicinity of those which 
are larger, often lose their independence. 

Small islands are always subdued. No one could now 
erect the standard of empire on the islandof Ithaca, or become 
king of the Fortunate Islands. We see this rule exemplified 
in the history of Great Britain. The British Islands contain 
five natural kingdoms, England, Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, 
Ireland. Wars took place among the Saxon monarchs of 
the Heptarchy for four hundred years, until the vallies of 
England were united under one monarch. She then united 
to herself the smaller natural kingdoms, by which she is sur- 
rounded in the order of their respective strength. 

22 On the Boundaries of Empires. 

The powerful empire of Austria has subdued the smaller 
divisions by which she is surrounded. 

3. Where natural kingdoms have a certain size it is diffi' 
cult to conquer them. 

Nothing but the fury of religious dissension could have 
subjected Bohemia, with her circular rampart of mountains, 
to a foreign power. 

Let us now consider how the power of man modifies these 
laws. There is scarcely any law known among nations but 
force. The power of empire ebbs and flows like the tide ; 
the savage tribes of Britain were easily defeated by the co- 
horts of Rome ; at another period their descendants conquer- 
ed the veteran troops of France, led on by their emperor. 

" Nations melt 
From power's high pinnacle, when they have felt 
The sunshine for a while." 

The legions of Rome, the peasants of Switzerland, the in- 
fantry of Spain, the chivalry of France, the cross-bowmen of 
England, and the battalions of Sweden, have, in succession, 
given law to Europe, and then retired to their native land. 

The process of conquests is usually this. Nations become 
luxurious, they are invaded by a neighboring tribe, some of 
the vanquished fall in battle, and their place is supplied by 
the conquerors. The kingdom retains its ancient boundary 
and has merely sustained a change of inhabitants, together 
with the havoc and distress which a state of war occasions. 

Fears have been expressed that France and Spain would 
be united under one empire ! Europe was in arms many 
years to prevent it. The Pyrenees have made ft impossible. 
The union of Russia and Siberia is dreaded ! when Siberia 
possesses a large population, she will no longer be under the 
dominion of Russia. 

The empire of Rome may be cited as an instance against 
this theory, but on examination, will be found to yield it 
support. It required all the ferocity of the Romans, aided by 
their naval power, and their permanent national council, to 
subdue the nations around. On the decline of their high for- 
tunes, their empire was broken into its original limits. 

Naval Power. 

" War is the trade of barbarians." "The whole art consists 
in assembling a force superior to that of your adversary." A> 

On the Boundaries of Empires. 23 

great naval power is enabled to do this, by seizing on all 
the small detached portions of the world, and on large king- 
doms which have not yet arrived at their full power, and 
which have become imbecile. This is easier, to such a 
power, because all countries are easily approached by sea; 
nature has made few impervious coasts, she intended that 
man should make use of the ocean. This produces the 
somewhat anomalous appearance of countries the most dis- 
tant under one sceptre. 

If we examine the reason of this law which binds nations 
within certain limits, we shall find it arises from similarity of 
habits and feelings, which at the same time leads them to 
hostilities with all around. 

The Indians of America war with all but their own tribe. 

In the highlands of Scotland, each clan was accustomed 
to combat all those who lived in the neighboring valley. 

Denon has given a correct and vivid description of the 
combats which take place between the villagers of the Nile. 
On enquiring the reason, " They knew not ; but their ances- 
tors had been accustomed to fight, and it would be improper 
to break so laudable a custom." 

Even in civilized countries, this hostile spirit is shewn. 
Wherever two villages, of nearly equal size, are situated 
within ten miles of each other, rivalry takes place, and they 
would occasionally combat, but they are restrained by the 
laws. Cities within one hundred miles of each other, have 
the same spirit of enmity. 

If we examine the map of Europe, we perceive that Great 
Britain, France, Spain, Holland, Switzerland, Bavaria, Den- 
mark, Sweden, and Austria, are natural kingdoms. Norway 
has always been in vassalage, because her population is 
much scattered. Turkey, Asia Minor, and Egypt are joined 
by the power of a fleet, as they were under the Greek em- 
pire. Persia has its ancient limits. China has had the same 
from time immemorial. The Arabians subdued Asia, but 
they retain their sway over nothing more than their original 
sandy deserts. Hindoostan is a natural empire, too weak to 
defend herself. America is arranged in natural divisions. 

Thus on the surface of the world, man has done little to 
change the decrees of the Almighty Power, whose fiat gov*- 
erns the universe. 


On the Atomic Theory. 

Art. IV. — On the Atomic Theory of Chemistry; by John 
Finch, M. C. S., &c. 

The Atomic theory, or the system of chemical equiva- 
lents, is justly considered of the greatest importance, be- 
cause it has introduced the certainty of mathematical sci- 
ence into the daily operations of the laboratory. 

By this system, the lowest proportion in which bodies 
combine is represented by a number attached to each sub- 
stance, which is called its atomic weight, and it is found by 
experiment, that bodies combine either in that ratio, or in 
some multiple of that ratio. 

The following are atomic numbers given by Prof. Brande 
in his elaborate System of Chemistry : — 





J Carbon. 




These numbers are very similar to those given by Mr. Dal- 
ton, and by Drs. Thomson, Henry, Wollaston, and Murray. 

All chemists agree in fixing the atomic numbers for oxy- 
gen and hydrogen by the proportions in which they combine 
in water, and the equivalent numbers for other substances 
depend in a great degree upon those which are thus con- 

Mr. Dalton, in his Elements of Chemical Philosophy, en- 
deavours to establish as a formula, that where two substan- 
ces combine in only one proportion, it must be considered as 
a combination of one atom of each, or, as he expresses it, a 
binary combination. On this principle, although it is known 
that water is composed of two volumes hydrogen and one 
volume oxygen, he considers it as composed of one atom 
of each, which therefore have to each other the relative 
numbers 8 oxygen, 1 hydrogen. 

The chemists, whose names are recited above, have, in 
general, adopted the Daltonian formula ; the following rea- 
sons may be alleged against its adoption. 

First. — The rule, if correct, cannot apply in the instance 
of water, because there is another combination known of 
oxygen and hydrogen, the peroxide of hydrogen, which has 

On the Atomic Theory. 25 

been described by Gay Lussac, and contains twice the oxy- 
gen contained in water. As therefore there are two com- 
pounds of oxygen with hydrogen, the formula cannot apply. 

Second. — Having obtained the representative numbers of 
oxygen and hydrogen, if we examine by the same formula, 
ammonia, which is the only compound known of hydrogen 
and nitrogen, and if we suppose it to be composed of one 
atom hydrogen united to one 'atom nitrogen, it gives a num- 
ber for the latter substance, which is only one third of its real 
representative value. 

Mr. Dalton carried his rule through the whole system in 
a rigorous manner, and hence obtained a number for nitro- 
gen, which has, by all other chemists, been considered as er- 

Drs.Thomson, Henry,and Wollaston, and Professor Brande, 
follow the Daltonian formula as it regards water, but, when 
they arrive at ammonia, finding it will not bend to the hy- 
pothesis, they lay aside the rule, and consider it as composed 
of three atoms hydrogen and one atom nitrogen ; because it 
is composed of three volumes of the former and one of the 

Third. — If water is composed of one atom of each, hy- 
drogen and oxygen, or, is a binary combination ; it forms an 
exception to all other known compounds. If we examine 
the union of metals with each other, with oxygen, with sul- 
phur, or the acids, we find they are all ternary, or superior 
combinations ; so also are atmospheric air, and all animal 
and vegetable substances. 

The union of one atom of each of two substances can 
be formed, only by great skill and care on the part of the 
chemist, and is usually effected by abstracting from the high- 
er combinations a portion of one of its constituent parts. Na- 
ture forms few binary compounds. 

Fourth. — If we examine a mathematical demonstration 
of the fact, we shall be led to believe, that, were a number 
of atoms of two substances placed together without previous 
arrangement, affinity would be exerted in the highest de- 
gree, when two atoms, of a similar kind, were arranged on 
the opposite sides of an intervening atom, and where the 
line of attraction passed through the centre of each. 

Dr. Bache, in his valuable book on chemistry, has en- 
deavored to obviate the difficulty, by supposing the combining 
volume of oxygen, to be onlv half the size of the combining 

Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 4 


On the Atomic Theorrj, 

volumes of other substances, but this would subject us to 
the serious inconvenience of giving a varying size to the 
same substance, in its different combinations. 

Let us now state the advantages which arise from con- 
sidering water, as composed of two atoms, hydrogen, united 
to one atom oxygen, which theory' has been adopted by Sir 
H. Davy in Great Britain, Berzelius in Sweden, and Gay 
Lussac, and Thenard in France. 

The theory of volumes, which has been so ably illustrated 
by Gay Lussac, will then coincide with the theory of atoms, 
and the same numbers may be applied on either hypothesis; 
it of course destroys the necessity, which has heretofore ex- 
isted, of dividing the volumic representative of any sub- 
stance by two, in order to obtain the atomic equivalent. In 
this mode, much complexity of ideas, and of language, will 
be avoided in treatises on chemistry. 

It will also be perceived, that the numbers representing 
the atoms, or volumes of substances, will approach very near 
to their specific gravity. From the coincidence, in many 
well authenticated instances, it is probable, that, on more 
accurate investigation, the specific gravity, and atomic 
weight, and volumic weight, will correspond with each oth- 
er in every simple substance. By the Daltonian hypothesis, 
the representative number of the atom of oxygen, was eight, 
of nitrogen, fourteen ; thus the atomic weight of the latter, 
was nearly twice as great as that of the former, although its 
specific gravity is much less — other instances of a similar 
kind might be adduced. 

It may be supposed, a matter of slight importance, 
whether water is composed of two atoms hydrogen, and one 
atom oxygen, or one atom of each, but when it is known 
that the whole fabric of chemical equivalents rests on these 
as a foundation, and that an alteration of these numbers, af- 
fects the whole scale of substances, it will then be consider- 
ed a subject of importance. 

Chemical Equivalents. 






1 32. 






On the Atomic Theory. 


Water is composed of two 
atoms hydrogen, united 
to one atom oxygen. 

Carbonic Oxide. 


Oxy.l Hy. 
16. 1. 



Carbonic Acid Gas, is composed 
of two volumes oxygen, united 
to one volume of gaseous car- 
bon, the three volumes conden- 
sed into two ; or, the carbon in 
uniting with the oxygen produ- 
ces no increase in its bulk. 

Sulphurous Acid Gas, three 
volumes condensed into two. 



Carb. I Oxy. 
12. 16. 

Oxy. 1 Sul. 
16. J 32. 



Hydro Chloric or 
Muriatic Acid 
Gas, no conden- 

Protoxide of Chlorine 
or Euchlorine, three 
volumes condensed 
into two. 

Proto Carbureted 
Hydrogen, three 
volumes conden- 
sed into one. 








1. 12. 


Hydro Carbonic Oxide. This gas, 
which burns with a green (blue?) 
Per. Carb. Hydrogen, five vol- flame, may sometimes be distin- 
umes condensed into two. guished in common fires. 




Hy. Hy. 
1. 1. 

Sulphuretted Hydrogen, three vol- 
umes condensed into two. 


Sul., Hy. 
32. 1. 

Hy. [Carb. | Oxy. 

1. 1 12. | 16. 


Cyanogen or C 


et of 


14. J 

Atmospheric Air, is a chemical compound, in which four volumes 
of nitrogen unite to one volume of oxygen, without condensa- 

Nitrous Oxide, three volumes 
condensed into two. 










On the Atomic Theory. 

Nitrous Gas, no condensation. 

Ammonia, four volumes con- 
densed into two. 








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Pluviometrical Observations, fyc. 


Art. V. — Pluviometrical Observations, made at West Ches- 
ter* Pennsylvania ; by William Darlington, M. D. 


West Chester, Penn. Jan. 7, 1828. 

Sir, — About five years ago, I sent you a statement of 
pluviometrical observations made at this place ; which is 
inserted in the 6th volume of the Journal of Science, page 
326. My original design was, to note the quantity of rain 
and snow which should fall, annually, for a series of years 
sufficiently extended to afford data for a tolerable estimate 
of the character of our climate, — so far as those phenomena 
are concerned. I proposed to myself a period of ten years, 
as probably sufficient for that object : and as the term is now 
completed, I offer the result for insertion in the Journal — if 
you should deem it worthy of a place. 

My former communication contained the observations of 
the first half of the term proposed ; the present one gives 
those of the last five years — with an additional column, show- 
ing the average results for the whole period. 


of Pluviometrical Observations. 





1823. 1824. 




the last 5 






















































































54.1 |42.3 |40.05|49.45 



It thus appears, that the average quantity of water which 
fell, annually, for the last ten years, was 46.92 — or nearly 
forty-seven inches. The greatest quantity, in any one year, 
was 54.1 inches, (viz. in 1824) — and the least 39.3 inches, 

* Twenty five miles west of Philadelphia. 


Pluviometrical Observations, fyc. 

(in 1822) ; making a difference of almost 15 inches — the one 
being a year of unusual wet — the other of distressing drought. 

The most rain which has fallen in one day, for the last 
ten years, was 4 inches. 

The quantity of snow during the last five years, was as 
follows : — 

Inches. Inches. 

1 823, the total depth, 30. equal to 3. of water. 

1824, - - - 13. - - 1.6 

1825, - - -20. - - 2. 

1826, - - - 14. - - 1.5 

1827, - - - 4.5 - - , ,5 


Snow, 81.5 8.6 water. 

The water which fell in the form of snow, is included in 
the table of rain. The quantity of snow, for the last ten 
years, was 194 inches, or about 16 feet — averaging nearly 
20 inches a year. The deepest snow in that time, was 18 
inches; which fell on the 7th January, 1821. The usual 
depths have been from 2 to 4, or 5 inches. It is quite cer- 
tain, I think, that the quantity of snow, in this region, is 
much diminished within half a century — and, indeed, within 
the last thirty years. The same remark may be made re- 
specting its duration, after it has fallen ; both which circum- 
stances are probably owing, in a great measure, to the clear- 
ing of forests, and the extended cultivation of the country. 

The number of days of falling weather, (including rain 
and snow,) is exhibited in the following table : — 








1827. thelast 

age of 

5 years. 

1 Oyrs. 
































































































Days. j 

100 1 




81 | 87 | 90 

On the Fossil Tooth of an Elephant. 31 

The average of ten years, shows about 90 days, in the 
year, of falling weather — or nearly one day in four. It 
must jnot, however, be inferred that we bask in sunshine^ 
three days out of four. On an average of the year, it is 
probable there is nearly one other day in four which is dull 
and cloudy — although without any appreciable quantity of 

I am, Sir, very respectfully, your obed't servant, 

Wm. Darlington. 

Professor Silliman. 

Art. VI. — On the Fossil Tooth of an Elephant, found near 
the shore of Lake Erie, and on the skeleton of a Masto- 
don, lately discovered on the Delaware and Hudson Ca- 
nal ; by Jer: Van Rensselaer, M. D. 

to the editor. 

New York, Dec. 24, 1827. 

Dear Sir — An extremely interesting relic of former ages 
having been lately presented to the Lyceum of Natural His- 
tory, I take the liberty to offer you a few observations upon 
it, for the pages of your Journal : premising that what is now 
proffered, is the substance of a report which I have made to 
that institution upon this subject, and which is their property. 

This " medal of nature," or "medallion of creation," as 
it is the fashion to term organic remains, is the fossil tooth of 
an elephant — and was, by the kindness of Dr. Micthill, se- 
cured to the cabinet of the Lyceum from Mr. Sanford, the 
proprietor, who has liberally presented it. This gentleman 
states it to have been found in the town of Beaverdam, Erie 
county, state of Pennsylvania, near the border of a small 
rivulet, about six hundred feet above the level of lake Erie, 
and not far from it. 

When first discovered, it was supposed to belong to the 
Mastodon, but the first glance enables us to pronounce it ele- 
phantine. It is eight and an half inches long, three and one 
third inches broad, and has six inches for its greatest depth ; in 
a line four and an half inches long, there are thirteen layers of 
enamel, and twelve of cement — not differing materially in 
dimensions from other fossil elephant teeth in our cabinet. 

The enamel remains in good condition, the lines thin, and 
nearly straight. The plates are parallel and nearly straight, 

32 On the Fossil Tooth of an Elephant. 

scarcely exhibiting any enlargement in the centre, and there- 
in differing specifically from the fossil teeth of this animal 
usually found. Most of the fossil, as well as perhaps all re- 
cent elephants teeth examined in the United States — or per- 
haps I may say in this quarter of the globe, have exhibited 
well marked festoons or angles in the centre. 

We have in our cabinet, specimens of fossil elephantine 
teeth from the Val d'Arno, and from several parts of the 
United States. That from Middletown, Monmouth county, 
in New Jersey, is supposed by Dr. Mitchill (in his notes to 
Cuvier,) to be allied to the Asiatic Elephant. One from the 
eastern shore of Maryland, the same learned gentleman in- 
forms us, is similar to the African species. There are others 
in our city — and perhaps about fifteen in Philadelphia — 
some of which I have had an opportunity to examine. 

Cuvier has treated at large on fossil Elephant teeth, and 
has minutely described their distinctive characters.* His re- 
searches have led him to the conclusion that the fossil teeth 
of this animal are distinct from those of either of the living 
species. From his detailed account of these teeth, and from 
an examination of several fossil and recent teeth, I must be 
allowed to say that the specimen before me is more closely 
assimilated to the Siberian than to the African species, and 
may in fact be regarded as a fossil tooth of the former an- 

A specimen very similar to this was taken by Humboldt 
from South America to Paris, and is, or was a few years ago, 
contained in the splendid cabinet of the king of France. 

The fossil remains of the Elephant have been discovered 
in many places in this hemisphere. Those of South America 
have been noticed by Buffon, and have been somewhat won- 
derfully described by Hernandes (Hist. Nov. Hispan.) Acosta 
(Hist. Nat. des Ind.) and by Torrelbia (Gygantologie Espan- 
iola,) particularly those of Mexico and Peru. 

Those of the United States have been more or less mi- 
nutely described by Catesby,! Drayton,J Turner,§ Jefferson, 
Peale,|| Mitchill,! Hayden,** Barton,tT Stranger,t| Dr. Har- 

*Recherches sur les Ossemens Fossiles. 

t Carolina, 11 Ap. $ View of South Carolina. 

§ Am. Phil. Trans. || Disc, on the Mammoth. 

1f Obs. on the Geology of North America", appended to his edition of Cuvier's 
Theory. ** Geological Essays, 

tt Cuvier's Ossemens Fossiles, Tom. 1, p. 155. 
XX Amcr. Monthly Mag. May, 1818. §§ Journ. Acad. Nat. Sciences. 

Inefficiency of the Cathartic Powers of Rhubarbarine. 33 

No fossil remains of the Elephant, that have come to my 
knowledge, have been found so far north in our country as 
the one now under consideration, although that circum- 
stance may be supposed to add but little to the interest of 
the specimen. Yet it might lead to very important discus- 
sions, should more remains of the Elephant or other animals 
of Siberia be found in greater abundance, and still farther to 
the north and west upon our continent. The consequences 
of such discoveries would be to force upon us disquisitions 
into which it is not my intention at present to enter. 
Yours very truly, 

Jer : Van Rensselaer. 

Prof. Silliman. 

P. S. — Perhaps you are not aware that the fossil remains 
of a mastodon giganteum were discovered last autumn, 
by the workmen, while digging the Delaware and Hudson 
Canal. A considerable portion of the skeleton has arrived 
in this city, and I have enjoyed an opportunity of examining 
it. The bones which I saw, are in good preservation, and 
seem to justify the wishes of the proprietors to set up the 
entire skeleton. The teeth are in perfect order. One of 
the tusks has arrived ; it is a beautiful and perfect specimen, 
nine feet long. When the other parts of the animal are 
brought to this city, I shall offer you a more detailed ac- 
count. J. V. R. 

Art. VII. — Observations on the Inefficiency of the Cathar- 
tic powers of Rhubarbarine, with some Remarks on the 
different varieties of Rhubarb ; by George W. Carpen- 
ter, of Philadelphia. 

There is, perhaps, no maxim more generally admitted than 
that " there is no rule without an exception." Even among 
the useful discoveries, and important researches in the vari- 
ous departments of Arts, Science, and manufactures, there 
is occasionally found one, which (either from being overrated 
by too hasty a conclusion, or defective from difficulties in 
manufacture or construction,) fails to support the characters 
and properties assigned to it either by its inventor, or discov- 
erer, or by those, who may have described it. When an in- 
stance is known to exist under these circumstances, any one 
acquainted with the fact, from ample proof, or careful ex- 

Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 5 

34 Inefficiency of the Cathartic Powers of Rhiibarbarine, 

periments, should consider it his duty, to contradict the 
statements erroneously made, and substitute those which t 
from a more extensive trial, have proved to be the true char- 
acters of the substance. 

Vegetable chemistry, has added to our materia medica, 
a catalogue of highly useful, and important remedies, among 
which stand eminently conspicuous, quinine, cinchonine, 
morphine, strychnine, cornine,* piperine, &c. all of which 
continued from full, and extensive trial, to support the char- 
acters originally assigned them, with the exception of one, 
which is the subject of the present communication. 

Disagreeable as it is for me, to criticise the writings and 
discoveries of men, eminent in the profession, yet for the 
promotion of science, and for the propagation of truth, I 
feel satisfied they will cordially agree with me, inasmuch as 
the errors of description were inadvertent, and their sole 
object no doubt, was, to give the article its real character. 

A chemical principle, discovered by M. Pfaff, and also 
prepared by M. Nani, a distinguished chemist of Milan, has 
been obtained from the rheum palmatum. M. Nani denom- 
inated this principal, sulphate of rhubarb, which name it 
still retains. M. Nani states that this medicine is cathartic 
in doses of a few grains, and has many advantages over 
the rhubarb, from the circumstance of its possessing an uni- 
form strength, while the different kinds of rhubarb have 
qualities so various, that in many cases the ordinary dose is 
very uncertain, &c. &c. See Bib. Univers. July, 1823, also 
this Journal, vol. vii. page 385. 

From the high commendation of this medicine, I was 
induced, at the instance of several of the Faculty of this 
city, to prepare some of it, as there had not yet been any 
received in this country. I accordingly adopted a pro- 
cess founded, with some modifications, on that of M. Nani, 
and published my formula, with some observations on the 
preparation, in the Philadelphia Journal of Medical and Phy- 
sical Sciences, and in this Journal, from which it Avas trans- 
lated and inserted in the Bulletin des Sciences Medicales, for 

* It is much to be regretted that the cornus florida, should yield the cornine 
in so minute a proportion as to prevent the discoverer from supplying the de- 
mand. This medicine has uniformly supported the character, and description 
given by our friend, Dr. S. G. Morton, and the author can produce testimonials 
of the highest authority, from different parts of the United States, corroborating 
this statement, and adding new proofs of the efficacy of the cornine, in the 
treatment of interauttents. 

Inefficiency of the Cathartic Powers of Rhubarbarine. 35 

April 1826, with some editorial remarks. Although I feel 
bound to acknowledge that I was the first to introduce this 
article into Philadelphia, and have sent a considerable por- 
tion to physicians in different parts of the United States, 
I must say however, in justice to myself, that my province 
was confined, exclusively to the preparation of this principle 
from the crude material. Its modus operandi was submit- 
ted to the judgment of those, upon whom, from practice and 
experience the consideration of it more properly devolved, 
and from the result of whose observations the conclusions 
should be made. 

My paper went to press early after I had prepared the rhu- 
barbarine, and before I could collect sufficient facts to justify 
any conclusions as to its effects in the hands of those who had 
first employed it in this city ; my observations therefore, in 
relation to its virtues, were founded upon the authority of 
M. Nani, and although modified a little, and made less com- 
mendable for its cathartic energy, its reputation was never- 
theless greater than it merited, and further experiments 
would warrant. 

The physicians who first employed this medicine, were so 
disappointed as to its activity, that I was apprehensive I 
might have failed in some part of the process of its manu- 
facture. I accordingly prepared it with great care several 
successive times, both according to the formula of Nani, and 
that which I modified, but the results were the same. 
In order to prove positively that there could be no de- 
fect in its manufacture, I sent to Paris, and procured some, 
manufactured by Pelletier (a chemist of the highest reputa- 
tion,) which was found to be equally feeble, as that, which 
I had prepared, if not less active. This proved the fact be- 
yond a question, that the powers of the rhubarbarine had 
been much overrated. The rhubarbarine, manufactured by 
Pelletier, required a larger dose than the extract of rhubarb, 
prepared according to my formula in the Philadelphia Jour- 
nal of Medical and Physical Sciences. I have taken several 
times, as much as twenty grains, without the least sensible 

The rhubarbarine resembles more an extract, than any of 
the vegetable principles. It is solid, dark brown, opaque, pos- 
sessing the odor of rhubarb, and a taste slightly nauseous and 
bitter ; it is deliquescent and very soluble in water, alcohol 
and aether. I cannot consider this to be the active principle 

36 Inefficiency of the Cathartic Powers of Rhubarbarine. 

of rhubarb, as a considerable portion of cathartic matter is 
retained by solution in the water, from which the rhubarbar- 
ine is precipitated. The term sulphate of rhubarb, is an 
extremely erroneous application, as there is no sulphuric acid 
in its composition. The sulphuric acid first employed in the 
acidulated decoction, is entirely neutralized by lime, by 
which the rhubarbarine is precipitated, perfectly uncombined 
with acid ; it is then taken up by alcohol, which separates it 
from the sulphate of lime. The alcohol containing the rhu- 
barbarine is then evaporated, until the rhubarbarine is ob- 
tained in the form above described. It is evident, therefore, 
that from this process there can be no sulphuric acid in its 
composition, and that the term sulphate of rhubarb is inap- 
plicable. I employed the term sulphate of rhubarb in a for- 
mer paper ; this was done in consequence of its having re- 
ceived that name, a name sanctioned by custom and by 

The process for manufacturing the rhubarbarine is expen- 
sive, and the product small. This renders it as costly an ar- 
ticle as the sulphate of quinine, and on this account it is par- 
ticularly necessary that its true properties should be known. 

The rhubarb of commerce differs materially in activity, 
and great deception is practised, in selecting and artificially 
preparing the roots.* From this circumstance, the same spe- 
cies will frequently be sold under several names, such as East 
India, Russia and Turkey, and command corresponding pri- 
ces. There are four varieties of rhubarb indigenous in France, 
and cultivated there; viz. the Rheum Palmatum, Compac- 
tum, Undulatum, and Rhaponticum. The superiority of the 
Palmatum has, however, caused the others to be neglected 
or abandoned. The difference between the activity of the 
French and English rhubarb and that of the rhubarb of Chi- 
na and Turkey is caused by the age of the root. The for- 
mer, after three years growth, decay in the ground, while the 
latter are not taken up until the seventh or eighth year of their 
growth. The China and Turkey varieties grow without cul- 
ture in almost any situation, while the French and English re- 
quire a moist soil, a particular degree of exposure, and con- 
siderable attention in cultivation. It is necessary to plough 

* We are informed that a number of persons in London, known by the name of 
Russitiers, gain a regular livelihood, by the art of dressing rhubarb, which they 
do by boring, rasping and colouring the inferior kinds, for which they charge 
eighteen pence per pound. (Paris's Pharmacologia.) 

On the Efficacy of Paragreles. 37 

during the winter, and to give two or three ploughings in the. 
summer. The former possesses a color more fixed, a stronger 
odour, and a taste quite aromatic, and slightly bitter. The 
latter a taste more mucilaginous and herbaceous, and evi- 
dently a less degree of strength. From chemical analysis, first 
by M. Henry, and afterwards by the celebrated M. Caven- 
ton:* we find that one hundred parts of China rhubarb, contain 
seventy four parts soluble in alcohol and water ; a like quan- 
tity of the cultivated Rheum Palmatum, furnished but sixty 
four, the Rheum Compactum but fifty, the Rheum Undula- 
tum but thirty two, and the Rhaponticum but thirty. Thus 
the Rheum Palmatum is proved to be the most active of the 
indigenous rhubarbs,but is inferior to that of China. It will be 
well to observe here, that the root of English and French 
rhubarb was of three years growth, while the exotic, furnish- 
ed by commerce, was at least seven or eight years of age. 
It has been proved by observation, that the strength of the 
indigenous rhubarb increases with its age, but as it cannot, 
from circumstances already quoted, attain the age of the ex- 
otic, it never can equal it in strength. Numerous experi- 
ments, made by Dr. Geoffrey, M. Itard, and M.Ribes, in sev- 
eral public institutions of France, prove, that the indigen- 
ous rhubarb is purgative, and may be substituted for the ex- 
otic, in pharmaceutical preparations, by employing one fourth 
more than the latter. 

Art. VIII. — On the Efficacy of Paragreles. 

The efficacy of Paragreles, in affording protection against 
the ravages of hail, appears to be too well ascertained to ad- 
mit of doubt ;t and we are not certain that the fact is "in 
opposition to the theories of the learned." There is an ex- 
planation, in consistency with these theories, which seems to 
be so simple and obvious, that we shall deem it strange, if it 
has not occurred to those who have applied their minds to 
the investigation of the subject. Not having access to ex- 
tensive sources of information, we are unable to say whether 
this is the case or not. 

It is a defect in the common theory of the foimation of 
hail, — that it does not embrace all the observed facts. From 

* Bulletin des Sciences Medicales, Avril, 1826. 

t See Vol. 10, p. 196. Vol. 12, p. 398 of this Journal. 

3S On the Efficacy of Paragreles. 

the rapidly decreasing temperature, as we ascend from the 
earth's surface, it must happen that the clouds will frequently 
be so elevated, that a congelation of the watery particles will 
ensue ; but it is by no means certain that this is always the 
fact when hail is formed during the warm season: the con- 
trary is more probable from observation. But even suppo- 
sing the theory to be perfect in this particular, there is a cir- 
cumstance, for which it finds no place. " Hail is most fre- 
quently attendant upon thunder ; and it is upon such occa- 
sions that the hailstones are sometimes enormously large and 
destructive. 11 * Is not then this connexion of a high degree of 
electricity with hailstorms too general, and too uniform, to be 
passed over, as uninteresting, in attempting to account for the 
phenomena 1 So it appears to us. That electricity per- 
forms a very important part in the formation of hail is estab- 
lished from the facts, — that hailstorms are usually accompa- 
nied by large quantities of that fluid ; — and that by discharg- 
ing the electricity of a cloud, (by means of Paragreles) the 
formation of hail is prevented. 

How then does the electric fluid aid in freezing the drops 
of water? is the question for our consideration; and its an- 
swer may be deduced from what we know to be the effects 
of the discharge of an electric battery. De meme que l 1 
on determine la formation de l 1 eau par l 1 etincelle elec- 
trique, on est parvenu aussi a la decomposer. On l 1 est 
d 1 abord servi, pour cela, de violentes decharges transmises 
a travers ce liquide, et qui y perduisaient des explosions ac- 
compagnees d 1 etincelles. 11 ! The explosions of an electric 
cloud,will therefore, in passing through the surrounding water, 
decompose a part of it ; and the quantity will be incompara- 
bly greater than by our batteries, as the cause is inconceiva- 
bly more powerful. We may very reasonably conclude, there- 
fore, that considerable quantities of water will be resolved 
into its constituent gases. But the water, in passing from 
the fluid to the gaseous state, will absorb very large quanti- 
ties of heat ; which is required to convert the bases of the 
gases into the seriform state ; and this heat must be derived 
from the adjacent fluid ; and consequently there will be a 
great reduction of temperature, sufficient in many cases tc 
freeze the particles of water. 

* Rees' Encyclopedia, Art. Hail. 

f Biot, Traite de Physique, Tom. 2, p. 436. 

On the Efficacy of Paragreles. 39 

There is an objection, which at once presents itself, — that 
after the water is decomposed, the succeeding flash of light- 
ning, would cause the reunion of the gases, and thus coni" 
pletely neutralize the effects of the previous decomposition. 
If the gases remained stationary after their production, this 
would certainly be the case : but the specific levity of the 
hydrogen will cause it to ascend with great velocity through 
the dense vapours which press upon it from all sides ; and 
the oxygen will have a tendency to take the opposite direc- 

In our attempt to give a reason for the efficacy of Para- 
greles in preventing the destructive effects of hail, we are not 
sensible of having advanced any thing that is hypothetical. 
The decomposition of water by the electric spark is too well 
known to be called in question. The absorption of heat, 
when a body changes from the solid to the liquid, or from 
the liquid to the aeriform state, has been matter of common 
observation, since- Jhe days of Dr. Black ; and that a great 
depression of temperature, in the contiguous bodies, must re- 
sult, is too obvious to be denied. The most questionable 
thing perhaps is, whether this reduction of temperature would 
be sufficient to freeze the drops of rain. A few words on 
this point may be acceptable. 

The combustion of one pound of hydrogen gas evolves suf- 
ficient heat to melt three hundred and twelve pounds of ice.* 
This gas has entered into combination with eight pounds of 
oxygen, and the heat evolved is the latent heat of the two 
gases. If we take the weight of one hundred cubic inches 
of hydrogen to be 2.119 grains, and that of one hundred cu- 
bic inches of oxygen, 33.915 grains,! the above weight of 
the gases will be equal to about one hundred and fifty-seven 
cubic feet of hydrogen, and 78.5 of oxygen. These quan- 
tities form 186.5 cubic inches of water. The decomposi- 
tion therefore of 186.5 cubic inches of water will absorb as 
much heat as is required to melt three hundred and twelve 
pounds of ice : or, supposing the heat absorbed by melting 
ice to be 1 40° F.J If the temperature of the drops of water 
be 72°, the heat abstracted will reduce the temperature of 
one thousand and ninety two pounds to the freezing point, 

* Biot, Traite de Physique, Tom. 4, p. 704. (A Paris, 1816.) 

| Thomson's First Principles of Chemistry, Vol. 1, p. 71. (London, 1825.) 

X Thomson's Principles of Chemistry, Vol. 1, pp. 87,88. (Philadelphia, 1818.) 

40 On the Efficacy of Paragreles. 

32°. The decomposition then of a single cubic inch of wa- 
ter will reduce the temperature of 5.85 pounds from 72° to 
32°. But it is very improbable that the temperature of the 
clouds should be so high as 72° at their usual elevation. If 
we suppose their temperature to be 54°, which is likely to be 
nearer the truth, though still perhaps too high, the decompo- 
sition of a cubic inch of water will cause the temperature of 
10.58 pounds to fall to the freezing point. 

The same fact may be illustrated, more forcibly perhaps, in 
the following manner : the combustion of one ounce of hy- 
drogen will raise the temperature of an equal weight of wa- 
ter 23400° of the centesimal scale,* equal to 42120° F. But 
an ounce of hydrogen, uniting with eight ounces of oxygen, 
will form nine ounces of water. The latent heat therefore 
of the gases which combine to form one ounce of water, will 
raise the temperature of an equal weight of that fluid 4680°: 
or will raise the temperature of one hundred and seventeen 
ounces from 32° to 72°. The decomposition of a single 
ounce of water, therefore, will reduce the temperature of 
9.75 pounds from 72° to the freezing point.! We think then 
that the frequent explosions of a highly charged cloud must 
soon reduce its temperature to the point of congelation, and 
even below this ; and consequently the fluid particles will be 
changed into the solid state. 

If there be any truth in the above theory of the formation 
of hail, it will follow, that the most violent hail storms will be 
attended by the most frequent and powerful explosions of 
electricity. Such appears to be the fact. Further observa- 
tion may reduce this to great probability, if not to certainty. 


Oxford, Ohio, Nov. 23, 1827. 

* Biot, Tom. 4, p. 716. 

t We were curious enough to examine whether the results from the different 
tables of Biot referred to, would coincide ; and we found that for the decom- 
position of a cubic inch of water, the table of page 716 gave a reduction of tem- 
perature of only 5.64 pounds from 72° to 32°. We suspected that perhaps Biot 
had not subtracted the water formed by the combination of the gases, from the 
whole quantity received from the calorimeter ; and bringing this conjecture to 
the test by taking from the three hundred and twelve pounds, nine, formed by 
the union of the oxygen and hydrogen, the remainder gave a reduction of tempe- 
rature of 5.68 pounds from 72° to 32° for the decomposition of a cubic inch of 
water. The almost perfect agreement of this weight with the former, proves to 
a high degree of probability that our suspicion is well founded ; and conse- 
quently there'is a slight error in excess in our reasoning, on the supposition, that 
three hundred and twelve pounds of ice were melted by the combustion of one 
pound of hydrogen. The quantity should be three hundred and three pounds^ 

Remarks on the Crude Sodas of Commerce. 41 

Art. IX. — Some Remarks on the Crude Sodas of Commerce; 
by John Revere, M. D. Lecturer on Chemistry, applied to 
the Arts-, at the Maryland Institute for the promotion of 
the Arts and Manufactures. 


New York, October 15, 1827. 

Sir — In a course of lectures on chemistry, applied to the 
arts, I had occasion to collect the facts contained in the fol- 
lowing paper. To those who are familiar with the science of 
chemistry, there will be little that is new. I have been in- 
duced to offer these remarks to your Journal, rather from its 
title, than the general scope of its contents, which I observe 
are almost purely scientific* The importance of this sub- 
stance in the useful arts, the ignorance observed among man- 
ufacturers and dealers respecting its nature, and the shame- 
ful impositions sometimes practised, constitute its chief claim 
to your attention. The facts stated may be relied upon, as 
they have been established by repeated experiments. 

John Revere, M. D. 

Crude soda, in whatever manner procured, is generally 
known in this country, among manufacturers and merchants, 
by the name of barilla. But as the value of the article 
depends very much upon the former circumstance, it will be 
proper to observe, that it is obtained as an article of mer- 
chandize, chiefly in four different modes, viz. 1, in a saline 
form, on the surface of the earth, and from the water of cer- 
tain lakes ; 2, from the incineration of certain land plants ; 
3, from the combustion of marine plants ; and 4, from the 
decomposition of sea salt by chemical processes. 

The crude soda, formerly known by the name of natron, 
is found in considerable quantities in Egypt, the interior of 
Africa, and in South America. It exists in lakes, and in par- 
ticular districts, and forms an efflorescence upon the surface 
of the earth during the dry season. I am not aware that in 
this form, it is known as an article of commerce, in the Uni- 
ted States. 

The most valuable of the crude sodas known in this coun- 
try, are obtained by the incineration of several kinds of 

* The Editor would be happy to receive more communications on the Arts, 
while he would not wish to lower the character of this Journal for Science. 
Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 6 

4:2 Remarks on the Crude Sodas of Commerce. 

plants, which grow in the vicinity of the sea. The best is 
brought from Alicant, Malaga, and Carthagena, in Spain ; 
it is obtained from an annual plant, the salsola sativa, which 
is cultivated and cured like hay, and afterwards burnt in 
holes dug in the earth. From the great quantity of soda it 
contains, it melts into thick paste, which on cooling, becomes 
condensed into a stonelike mass ; the popular name of this 
plant in Spain, is barilla. So highly is this plant esteemed in 
Spain, that, according to Mr. Parkes, the exportation of the 
seed is prohibited, under penalty of death. There are several 
varieties of the salsola cultivated on the shores of the Med- 
iterranean, especially in the island of Sicily, and also in the Ca- 
nary Isles, which yield an abundance of soda. For conven- 
ience, all the crude sodas obtained by the combustion of 
land plants, may be called barilla. The barilla most com- 
mon in our market is brought from Spain, Sicily and Teneriffe. 
Although many parts of the United States are favorably situ- 
ated, I have known but one attempt to cultivate them. It 
was made on the eastern shore of Maryland, from seed pro- 
cured for the purpose in Sicily. The attempt failed, owing 
evidently to the imperfection of the seed. 

The increased demand for soda for the arts throughout 
the civilized world, has led men to seek other sources from 
which this useful substance may be procured. Modern sci- 
ence and industry have succeeded in extracting a large supply 
from marine plants, which were accounted so entirely worth- 
less among the ancients, that alga projecta vilior was a com- 
mon proverb at Rome. The substance procured by the com- 
bustion of these plants is called by the French varech, and 
by the English kelp. The inhabitants of the coast of Europe 
have been in the habit, from time immemorial, of collecting 
the sea weed, wrack or sea ware, as it is indiscriminately cal- 
led in Great Britain, and manufacturing it into a coarse al- 
kali, for domestic purposes. It is only, however, within a cen- 
tury that any attempt has been made in Great Britain to pre- 
pare the kelp in a large way. It was in the year 1723 that 
this substance was first brought into the market as an article 
of merchandize. But the great consumption of the alkalies 
in the modern arts, especially by the bleacher, soap and glass 
manufacturer, and other manufacturing chemists, has attract- 
ed move and more attention to the subject, until the manufac- 
ture of kelp in Great Britain has become a very important 
department of industry. I am under the impression that 
kelp has never been brought into our market, or attempted to 

Remarks on the Crude Sodas of Commerce. 43 

be manufactured in the United States, but as it appears to 
me that this manufacture may be introduced advantageously 
among us, I propose to give some account of the most ap- 
proved method at present practised, in the hope that it may 
direct the attention of those persons to the subject, who are 
conveniently situated for making the attempt. From the in- 
crease of our manufactures, and as all the crude sodas at 
present consumed are imported, it is highly probable that 
there would be a full demand for the article. The material 
may, for the trouble of collecting it, be had, in immense quan- 
tities, along our extensive sea coast, nor can any thing be 
cheaper or more simple than its manufacture. Some idea 
may be formed of the advantages that may be derived from 
this manufacture, from the great and obviously increasing im- 
portance that is attached to the subject in Great Britain. 
There are frequent communications on the subject in their 
best journals, and prizes offered to encourage its cultivation, 
by their societies for the promotion of the arts and manufac- 
tures. As long ago as 1798, it was stated by Prof. Jameson 
in his Mineralogy of the Shetland Isles, that " farms which 
before the introduction of kelp rented at forty pounds, now 
rent for three hundred pounds." It is also asserted by Mr. 
Parkes that Lord McDonald of the Isles, now realizes ten 
thousand pounds per annum from his kelp shores, which 
his ancestors considered valueless. 

Nearly all marine plants, especially the fuci, are found to 
yield soda from combustion. Those which are preferred are 
the fucus vesiculosus, nodosus, and serraius /* they are found 
spontaneously growing on the rocks near the shore, generally 
between high and low water marks. Generally speaking, 
bays and caves that are sheltered from the winds and tides 
are found best, though some of the fuci flourish best in the 
most exposed situations, and the strongest tideways. For- 
merly, the kelp was made entirely from the floating sea ware, 
as it washed up on the shore, but, since the manufacture has 
become profitable, greater care is taken in its preparation. 
It is now common to cultivate these plants by depositing on 
sandy beaches, large boulder stones, to which the fuel may 
readily attach themselves, and to cut and collect the ware ; 
colcareous stones are found best. In the Repertory of Arts, 

* It would appear that this class of plants has not received much attention 
from hotanists in this country. I have heen informed, however, by good au- 
thority, that these/wet are found in abundance along our coast. 

44 Remarks on the Crude Sodas of Commerce. 

there is a particular description of the process employed in 
the manufacture of one hundred and fifteen tons, on the farm 
of Stroud in Horris, which received the prize of the High- 
land Society. 

This sold for five pounds ten shillings per ton. As this is 
considered the most approved method, I will give an ab- 
stract of it. In the Orkneys, they account the spring the 
best season for cutting the ware, because they are then less 
exposed to the rains. The weeds that are left bare by the 
tide are cut with sickles, and those under water with bill 
hooks. It is considered important to land the ware, as fast 
as it is cut, and to carry it to a suitable situation to dry ; it 
is thought that as soon as the weed begins to wilt, the 
pores of the plant become relaxed, and allow the soda to ex- 
ude, which is dissolved and lost, if the ware be left in the 
water or exposed to the rains. There is no doubt that kelp 
made from such ware is weaker. It is spread on clean 
ground to dry, and, when pretty well dried, it is collected in- 
to large cocks, protected from the rain if possible, and allow- 
ed to heat for six or eight days, or even from fifteen to twen- 
ty if the ware has been collected from coves with muddy bot- 
toms. — A dry day, when there is a brisk breeze, is selected 
for burning the ware, which is conducted in the following 
manner. The kilns are rudely constructed of stones and 
turf upon the firmest sward that can be found. The most 
convenient are about two feet six inches in height, two feet 
four inches in breadth, and from eight to eighteen feet in 
length, according to the quantity of ware to be consumed. 
A little dry straw is first spread over the bottom of the kiln, 
and kindled, to which the ware is slowly added, as fast as 
it is consumed, the combustion being accelerated by the 
breeze. Should the weather become calm, or if the ware is 
not sufficiently dry, the ashes cool and cake into white crusts, 
when it becomes necessary to rake the ashes until the com- 
bustion is perfect, before adding fresh ware. When the 
ware is all burnt, the last process consists in working or 
raking the ashes with iron rakes, so that the combustion of 
every part shall be perfect. It is transformed into a thick 
paste, which, on cooling, becomes solid, somewhat resembling 
good indigo ; it is then broken up into masses of about two 
hundred weight, covered with dry ware, and is ready for the 
market. If the ware has been taken from a muddy situation, 
it sometimes happens that the ashes remain dry, and do not 

Remarks on the Crude Sodas of Commerce. 45 

assume the form of a paste. By allowing the combustion to 
continue a little longer, or by adding some salt or saltpetre, 
the difficulty is easily overcome. The kelp is found to yield 
from three to six or eight per cent, of pure soda. 

France was in the habit of depending principally upon 
foreign countries, for the supply of crude sodas, until the 
period of the revolution. In consequence of the wars 
lighted up by that event, she found herself cut off from the 
rest of Europe, and compelled either to abandon some of 
her most important manufactures, or to find within herself 
the means of supplying the raw materials. She was entire- 
ly destitute of many articles of daily, and indispensable use. 
Surrounded by enemies, she had not even the means of ob- 
taining nitre for preparing gun powder for her armies. This 
state of things, and the great political excitement that exis- 
ted at the time, resulted in prodigious and successful efforts, 
to supply herself from sources which had not before been 
thought of. The value of the physical sciences under these 
circumstances was perceived, nor is there perhaps a period 
in their history more honorable than this. No longer con- 
fining herself to the closet and laboratory, philosophy went 
forth, and relieved with her treasures, the distresses of the 
state. In the enthusiasm of the moment, the usual motives 
of human action seemed suspended ; especially among men 
of science, every thing like private interest seemed lost sight 
of, in a desire to promote the public good. Important dis- 
coveries in the arts, which if practised in secret must have 
yielded immense emolument, were freely promulgated for 
the good of the republic. In this honorable competition of 
the sciences, chemistry stood pre-eminent. The most emi- 
nent chemists in France, were formed into committees, by 
the committee of public safety ; the results of their investi- 
gations will be found in the early volumes of the Annates 
de Chimie, forming the most valuable series of papers on 
chemistry, applied to the arts, that can perhaps be found in 
the history of the sciences. 

Among the most important of these papers is the report 
of Messrs. Lelievre, Pelletier, d'Arcet, and Girard, on the 
best means of extracting soda from sea salt. This led to the 
extensive manufactory of artificial soda in France, which is 
at present, not only principally employed in their own man- 
ufactories, but has become a considerable article of export. 
The process recommended by the committee, and which 

46 Remarks on the Crude Sodas of Commerce. 

with some modifications, is still practised, was invented by 
Messrs. Leblanc and Dize. The process is briefly this, — it 
consists in decomposing the muriate of soda, by sulphuric 
acid. The sulphate of soda, thus formed, is intimately uni- 
ted, in certain proportions, with charcoal and chalk pulveri- 
zed. By the application of a suitable temperature, in a 
reverberatory furnace, a somewhat complicated series of 
chemical changes takes place. It has been supposed that 
sulphate of soda is decomposed, a part of the sulphur of the 
sulphuric acid, being consumed in the form of sulphuretted 
hydrogen, forms slight explosions, and exhibits the appear- 
ance of fire works, while the unconsumed sulphur, remains 
in combination with a portion of soda and lime, forming hy- 
dro-sulphurets, sulphates and sulphites. In the meanwhile, 
the carbonic acid of the lime, and that formed by the com- 
bustion of the charcoal, unite with the soda, and form the 
carbonate of soda. This part of the process, requires con- 
siderable tact in its management, as the value of the article 
depends upon the completeness of the decomposition of the 
sulphate of soda, and the quantity of carbonate of soda that 
is formed. The process lasts about seven hours, and the 
residuum, thus obtained, resembles in its appearance fine ba- 

A considerable quantity of the artificial barilla, has been 
imported into the United States. In consequence however, 
of the badness of the article in some instances, but espe- 
cially from the quantity of sulphur, that even the best con- 
tains, it is entirely fallen into disrepute. So little is it es- 
teemed in this market, that the soap makers, who are the 
principal consumers, as several of them have declared to 
me, would not accept the article as a present, though they 
are sensible that it contains a large proportion of alkali. 
They find the ley, obtained by the lixiviation of the artificial 
barilla, contains so much sulphur, that when boiled and 
mixed with the other materials for making soap, the quanti- 
ty of sulphuretted hydrogen disengaged, is so great, as to 
render the works almost untenantable, while the soap be- 
comes of a dirty blue color, and is rendered unsaleable. 

Knowing that this substance is generally employed in the 
soap manufactories of Marseilles, and that these inconven- 
iences are not complained of there, I was induced to enquire 

* For a particular account of the process, see Ann. de Chim. v. 19. 

Remarks on the Crude Sodas of Commerce. 47 

into the cause of this, in order to ascertain, whether the evil 
complained of by our manufacturers, might not be remedied. 
My attention was naturally first directed to the difference of 
the two manufactories ; the following are the principal points 
of difference. In France, soap is generally made from soda 
and olive oil; it is colored, and that most sought after is called 
bleu pale. In this country, we generally use the animal oils, 
and in all but the very fine soaps, our manufacturers are in 
the habit of using a considerable proportion of rosin ; the 
most saleable of this kind of soap, is of a bright yellow 
color. In France, the soap is marbled, by adding to it while 
in a mass, a solution of green vitriol, sulphate of iron. Now 
it appears, from the statement of M. Laurens, who is prac- 
tically acquainted with the subject,* that in order to impart 
to the soap the precise tint, so much sought after, the bleu 
pdle, the presence of the sulphuretted hydrogen, or rather 
of the alkaline hydrosulphuret, (for both of the alkalies are 
found to answer the purpose,) is indispensable. In this pro- 
cess, the sulphuretted hydrogen, when united with the iron 
and oil, imparts a greenish blue color, which does not com- 
bine with the soap, but is dispersed through it, during ebulli- 
tion, in small masses, so as to produce the marbled appear- 
ance. M. Laurens remarks, that the more scientific man- 
ufacturers at Marseilles, are in the habit of adding sulphur- 
retted hydrogen, after treating the soap with the green vit- 
riol, should it not be found to possess the proper color. This 
seems to afford a ready, and natural solution of the fact, that 
artificial barilla is used with advantge in the soap manufac- 
tories of France, while in this country it is so objectionable. 
I have had recourse to a number of experiments with differ- 
ent substances, for the purpose of devising a cheap method 
of getting rid of the sulphur, combined with artificial soda, 
so inconvenient to our soap makers, but without arriving at 
any very satisfactory results. Some advantage may be ob- 
tained if the ley be introduced into open vats, into which 
the clippings of tin plate, or iron have been thrown, and left 
standing exposed to the air, for several days, and occasion- 
ally agitated. 

Economy of materials is the basis of successful manufac- 
turing, and, as the intrinsic value of the crude sodas depends 
entirely upon the quantity of pure alkali they contain, the 

* See Ann. de Chim. v. 67. 

48 Remarks on the Crude Sodas of Commerce. 

manufacturer should be able to form a correct judgment in 
this respect. For this however, our dealers and manufac- 
turers have a very inadequate standard — they depend almost 
exclusively on the senses, and the history of the article. The 
appearance, taste, and weight are their chief guides ; after 
a long experience, and having paid dearly for that experi- 
ence, no doubt they can form some general idea of the val- 
ue of the article, but after all, their judgment, thus formed, 
must be loose. They generally break a piece of the barilla, 
and apply the tongue to the fracture ; if the soda be in a 
caustic state, even though in small quantity, it will excite a 
much stronger sensation of taste, than when it exists in lar- 
ger quantity, in the form of a carbonate. Nor is the history 
of the article more to be relied on, as there are several dif- 
ferent qualities brought from the same market. Indeed I 
have known some instances in which the most experienced 
soap manufacturers, and even large manufacturing chemists, 
have been most egregiously deceived, by judging of the ar- 
ticle in this loose way. I lately assayed a sample of artifi- 
cial barilla, that was sold at eighty dollars per ton, the price 
of the best in which there was scarcely an appreciable quan- 
tity of soda, while a sample of Alicant barilla, yielded fifty 
eight per cent, of pure soda. 

There are a great number of methods, recommended for 
assaying the crude sodas. An exact assay is undoubtedly, a 
very nice and even difficult operation, but with a little atten- 
tion, any manufacturer may make a sufficient approxima- 
tion for all practical purposes. I have tried several, but 
would recommend the following as the best ; it is with some 
modification, the one recommended by Mr. Parkes. 

Take a quantity of diluted sulphuric acid, say six parts of 
water to one of the sulphuric acid of the shops ; this will be 
of a convenient strength, and will be found about the specific 
gravity of 1.100. Select a phial that pours and drops well ; 
it should have a glass stopper with a score running length- 
wise along it, and that fits accurately, so that we may be able 
exactly to fill the phial. With good scales, using a counter- 
poise for the phial, we should carefully ascertain the precise 
number of grains of the diluted acid that the bottie will con- 
tain. Lastly, we must ascertain with nicety the number of 
grains of the diluted acid that is required to saturate one 
hundred grains of pure soda. Having made these prepara- 
tions, we may at any time, in the course of a few hours, de- 

Remarks on the Crude Sodas of Commerce. 49 

termine the quality of a lot of barilla. We select a number 
of fragments, which may be considered as a fair sample of 
the whole ; pulverize them finely in an iron mortar, and then 
weigh out two or three portions of one hundred grains each, 
which may be put in as many tumblers, together with about 
two or three ounces of water ; distilled water is best. After it 
has stood for a few hours, being occasionally stirred with a 
glass rod, carefully strain off the solution into a clean tum- 
bler, through bibulous paper. Wash the residuum by adding 
small quantities of water until it passes through the paper 
tasteless. Add a solution of litmus until the alkaline solu- 
tion becomes decidedly blue. Having then filled the phial 
exactly with the diluted sulphuric acid, in order to observe 
the change of color more accurately, place the tumbler con- 
taining the alkaline solution, upon a sheet of clean white, pa- 
per ; and then pour the acid in slowly and at intervals, agita- 
ting at the same time with a glass rod, until the litmus be- 
gins to assume a red color. We must now proceed still 
more slowly and carefully ; the redness is at first faint and 
delicate, and is produced by the carbonic acid gas evolved 
and not by the sulphuric acid. On first adding the sulphu- 
ric acid, no effervescence is observed ; probably because the 
first portions of acid combine with that part of the soda that 
remains in a caustic state. When the whole of the soda is 
saturated, this will be indicated by the marked deeper red 
color, and by the acid forming but a mechanical mixture 
with the solution, as it is added drop by drop, without any 
chemical action. By weighing the diluted acid remaining in 
the phial, we can determine how much has been consumed 
in saturating the alkali ; and, as we already know the num- 
ber of grains of the diluted acid, required to saturate one 
hundred grains of pure soda, by the rule of proportion we 
can at once ascertain the proportion of pure alkali in the ba- 
rilla. By repeating this operation with the two remaining por- 
tions, we can make a still closer approximation to the truth. 

But this process, which is found to answer very well in as- 
saying barilla and kelp, is an insufficient guide for ascertain- 
ing the quality of the artificial soda, especially when indif- 
ferently manufactured. This always contains a quantity of 
the hypo-sulphite and hydro-sulphuret of soda, which are de- 
composed by, and assist in saturating the sulphuric acid, and 
thus give a too high return of the quantity of alkali ; espe- 
cially as these substances are positively injurious in the man- 

Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 7 

50 Remarks on Inertia. 

ufacture of soap, as pursued in this country. This difficulty, 
however, may be obviated, by the following process, recom- 
mended by Welter and Gay Lussac. — Mix a little of the oxy- 
muriate (chlorate) of potass with the sample of crude soda to 
be tried, and expose the mixture to a low red heat ; a platina 
crucible is recommended by them — but one of silver or porce- 
lain will answer, if the process is carefully pursued ; the latter 
was used by myself for the purpose. The sulphurets and sul- 
phites are thus converted into sulphates, and the oxy-muriate 
into neutral muriate. After this process, the artificial soda 
may be assayed in the manner above described. 

I shall close this paper, which has already extended much 
farther than was at first intended, by a few remarks on a 
point, in which I find there are very mistaken views entertain- 
ed by the dealers in the crude sodas. It is a common opin- 
ion, that barilla that is broken into small fragments and pow- 
der has lost its strength ; on this account there is generally 
an allowance made in the sale of the article, of from ten to 
fifty per cent, for this part of the barilla. This opinion, how- 
ever, is true only to a very limited extent. A considerable 
part of the soda is at first in a caustic state ; that part of the 
mass, therefore, that is exposed to the air, imbibes carbonic 
acid gas and moisture, but, unless the barilla has been wet, 
and thus lost a portion of its alkali, it is diminished in value 
only by the additional weight of the carbonic acid gas and 
humidity it may thus have acquired. 

Art. X. — Remarks on Inertia ; by Z. 


Oxford, Ohio, July 24, 1827. 

Biot says of mobility and inertia, " ne sont nullement pas 
des proprietes de la matiere mais la seule expression de son 
indifference parfaite au mouvementou au repos. 11 * Inertia 
then, according to this writer, is to be classed with mobility, 
both having what may be very properly termed passive or 
negative properties of matter. Inertia does not signify 
any thing active, but the absence of all action. Matter is 

* Traite de Physique, torn 1, p. 1. 

Remarks on Inertia. 51 

inanimate, — has no directive power of its own, — no will if 
we may so speak ; and hence, to cause changes in matter, 
an external force is necessary, and this must be proportioned 
to the mass to be operated upon. By the application of 
such a force, we can change the place of any quantity of 
matter, and the change will be exactly in proportion to the 
force. Some speak of ; ' vis inertise," — " fuerza de inertia," 
— " force d'inertie," and " force of inertia ; " but those phra- 
ses sound to us like a contradiction in terms ; and we do not 
believe that they are of any service to the student in natural 
science : On the contrary, we are convinced that they tend 
to confuse his reasonings, and suggest the idea of power, 
when that which should be conveyed is the absence of all 
power. We are happy in not being singular in this opinion : 
" This property, (inertia) says Dr. Young, is improperly cal- 
led a force. 1st. Because, were it actually such it must be of 
some definite quantity in a given body ; and therefore an im- 
pressed force less than that would not move the body ; 
whereas any impressed force, however small, whether impul- 
sive or constant, will move any body however great ! 2nd. 
It is improper, because it seems to indicate an active force 
resident in matter."* 

We by no means think this a subject of small moment : 
We are continually using language in comparing the thoughts 
which exist in our own minds, as well as in communicating 
those thoughts to others : and inaccuracy of expression will 
be very likely to draw after it inaccuracy of thought. We 
should endeavor to inform ourselves of the extent of our 
powers, and never attempt to search into those things which 
are beyond.our ken : And this cannot be accomplished with- 
out having fixed and definite notions attached to our words. 
Many students receive the phrase " vis inertias" without ex- 
amination ; and when they come to translate it, — " the force 
of inactivity," which is the more classical meaning, is totally 
incomprehensible when applied to matter ; and " the force 
of passiveness " is not much plainer. Others are still more 
unfortunate : They fix the expression "force of inertia" in 
their memories, and afterwards look upon it as denoting an 
active power inherent in matter. 

All inquiries respecting the cause of inertia are as utterly 
fruitless as those intended to discover the cause of gravita- 

* Analysis of the Principles of Natural Philosophy, p. 2S. 

52 Remarks on Inertia. 

tion. The only reason we can give for its existence is this : 
« Eiftev o $ i0 $, ywsaOa, xat tysvtto." We were surprised therefore 
that Professor Farrar should give his countenance to such in- 
vestigations ; and our astonishment was not lessened by his 
conclusion as to the probability of his own theory.* The 
learned Professor supposes that every body may be acted 
upon, by an indefinite number of equal forces, in all possible 
directions, and consequently the body remains at rest. Where 
then an extended force is applied in any direction, it destroys 
the efforts, or forces of the body, which act in a contrary di- 
rection to the whole extent of its power ; and therefore the 
forces of the body which have the same direction as the ex- 
ternal force will no longer be balanced, and thus the body 
will be pat in motion by them ; and its velocity will be pro- 
portioned to the external force : since the efforts on one side 
of the body being destroyed by the force to an amount ex- 
actly equal to itself, those on the opposite side must be supe- 
rior to the forces which before balanced them by an equal 
quantity. We suppose it to be a corollary from this reason- 
ing, that the forces which are constantly acting upon bodies 
must be very powerful : for in proportion as we apply a great- 
er force to any body, or in other words, as we destroy a lar- 
ger amount of the forces which belong to that body, its velo- 
city will be increased ; and if the theory be carried out, we 
must conclude that this velocity is wholly caused by destroy- 
ing the equilibrium of the equal and opposite forces : — 
nearly in the same manner as a body is put in motion by the 
pressure of the air on one of its surfaces, when the atmos- 
pheric pressure is removed from the opposite surface. Now, 
however ingenious this explanation of what may be the cause 
of inertia, appears, we would inquire, with all deference 
to the learned Professor, whether there would not be more 
light on the subject to every understanding from saying, sim- 
ply, that matter is wholly passive ; and therefore to cause 
motion in a body which is at rest, a force must be exerted ; 
and also that the body's velocity will be exactly proportion- 
ate to the force impressed. We believe that this is all that is 
known with respect to the inertia of matter, and the commu- 

* " We do not pretend to decide whether the resistance which hodies oppose 
to motion, does or does not arise from a cause of this kind." — Cambridge Me- 
chanics, p. 179. 

Remarks on Inertia. £3 

nication of motion ; and we know this much by experiment 
only ; and all beyond is mere conjecture. 

There is another passage that immediately follows Profes- 
sor F's speculations on the causes of inertia, which savours 
still more of the doctrine of occult causes : " The force of in- 
ertia, therefore, is, properly speaking, the means of the com- 
munication of motion from one body to another."* Profes- 
sor F. however, is not alone in this position : " Itaque con- 
cludendum nullam esse vim qua motus communicetur, cum 
nulla sit vis inertiae."t " La fuerza de inercia es un medio 
para que los cuerpos se comuniquen el movimiento unos a 
otros."t Now will any person, after a moments reflection, 
pretend to say, that he knows the means by which motion is 
communicated from one body to another ? — why a body in 
motion striking against another, should impart its motion, or 
how this is done ? We presume not : We believe that no 
person has ever been able to point out the connexion be- 
tween cause and effect, however indisputable the existence 
of such a connexion may be ; at least we have not heard 
such a discovery announced ; although the squaring of the 
circle, and the discovery of perpetual motion, are not unfre- 
quent in our day. What then is the extent of our knowledge as 
regards the communication of motion? We know that matter 
is inert, and cannot move itself; and consequently that a force 
is necessary : but no human mind can explain the connecting 
link between the application of the force and the reception of 
motion by the body. A certain body is at rest : it is struck by 
another body in motion, and immediately also commences 
moving. The fact we know ; but the rationale of the fact is 
beyond the powers of the mightiest minds. How then do wri- 
ters prove that inertia is the means of the communication of 
motion ? None of those, quoted above, have attempted this 
except Bails ; who says " no podriamos concebir como se 
podria comunicar movimiento alguno a un cuerpo que no se 
nos resistiese."|| The best reason then which has been 
given, is that we cannot conceive of the thing otherwise, and 
therefore it is so. But unless we are greatly mistaken, the 

* Cambridge Mechanics, p. 179. 

t R. Cotes, prcefatio in Lee. Edit. Newtoni Princip. 

\ Elementos de Matematica porD. Benito Bails, vol. 4, p. 9. 

|| Elementos de Matematica, Prologo, vol. 4, p. 7. 

54 Remarks on Inertia. 

proof of the position is still weaker than this : Avhat is meant 
then by the body's resisting us ? not surely that when we 
impel it in one direction, it makes an effort in the opposite ; 
all therefore that can be intended is that the body does not 
assist us; — that is, it is entirely passive in our hands. Of course 
the gravity must be overcome by the force impressed ; but ab- 
stracting from this, matter is wholly without action, or a ten- 
dency to motion. This being so, when it is said that we can- 
not conceive how motion could be communicated unless mat- 
ter resisted us, — the meaning is, unless matter were passive. 
The proposition then is equivalent to this, that, if matter 
were active or in motion, we do not know how motion could 
be communicated; and certainly, if by communicating mo- 
tion, be intended the commencing of it, the remark would 
be just, as the body is supposed to be in motion already. If 
by not being passive, or by being active, it be designed to 
express some active power in matter, to be exerted at pleas- 
ure, even though this matter should not be in motion, the 
argument is still unfounded : since it is unreasonable to sup- 
pose that all bodies would at all times be so perverse as to 
exert their efforts in opposition to ours :* perhaps they might 
co-operate with us, and thus our labor would be very much 
diminished. We think then that no author has any right to 
assert gravely, as if it were a decided point, that inertia is the 
means by which motion is communicated : to do this is to 
wander from ascertained fact and experiment into the field 
of learned scholastic trifling. 

The last defence which we have seen of the phrase " force 
d'inertie," is given by Brisson : To the objection that, after a 
body, suspended by a string, has assumed a vertical position, 
"it resists a change of place by its gravity, and therefore that 
what is called " force d'inertie, 1 ' is the same thing as gravity, 
he answers, that when the line that supports the body is ver- 
tical, the gravity is wholly counteracted by it ; and for this 
reason, cannot resist a force until the line of support is mov- 
ed from the vertical direction : " Son deplacement doit done 
preceder l'effort de sa pesanteur. Mais pour operer ce de- 
placement, il faut employer une force, reelle, qui, si elle 
est trop petite pour deplacer la boule n'en est pas moins une 
force reelle, et cependant n'a point d'effet. Dans ce cas-la, 

* We are not Gnostics, nor Manicheans. 

Remarks on Inertia. 55 

la boule resiste done a une force reelle, et la detruit avant 
de pouvoir agir comme pesante ; elle resiste done par une 
force independante de sa pesanteur, et e'est cette force 
qu'on appelle force d'inertie."* 

If any are not yet convinced, the following is supposed by- 
its author sufficient to remove all doubts. Two homogene- 
ous balls, similar in every respect, fall from the same height 
to the earth, in exactly the same length of time: "Si Ton 
veut que Tun des deux precede l'autre dans sa chute, il faut 
a l'effort de. sa pesanteur ajouter une autre force ; il faut lui 
donner une nouvelle impulsion, qu'il ne peut pas recevoir de 
sa pesanteur puisque nos supposons qu'il lui, obeit complete- 
ment. Or tout ce qui exige une force pour etre produit, est 
une veritable resistance. Ce corps qui en tombant libre- 
ment, obeit complement a la pesanteur, resiste done a un 
mouvement plus prompt que celui qui vient de la pesanteur : 
il y resiste done par une force independante de sa pesanteur, 
e'est cette force qu'on appelle force d'inertie."t 

Now we do not contend that gravity and inertia are the 
same : on the contrary, we believe the former to be an active 
force, and the latter to be nothing more than the negation of 
action : but we do say, that all the phenomena may be ex- 
plained from ascertained facts, — that matter is absolutely 
passive, and at the same time acted upon by the mutual at- 
traction which influences all its particles. In the case of the 
suspended ball, which has been given, it is not accurate to 
say that any force would be too small to move it, nor that 
any force is destroyed in causing its displacement. If P be 
power applied to cause the motion of the suspended ball B, 
and a be the angle made by the direction of the line of sus- 
pension with the vertical, P will always be as B sin. «, while 
the angle a has a real value : that is, P : B sin. a. Now 
however small we take the angle a, this formula will be true, 
so long as the angle exists. When a is nothing, though we 
cannot say that P would also become nothing, — that is that 
B would move without a force because matter is inert, we 
are well assured that the force required to cause motion in 
such circumstances, would be indefinitely small. If the 
gravity of matter were annihilated, on the supposition that 
it would still exist in masses, we cannot conaeive that it 

* Traite Ele. de Physique, tome 1, pp. 46, 47. t Ibid. p. 47. 

56 Remarks on Inertia. 

would possess any self-moving power; but from what we 
know of the mutual repulsion between the particles of mat- 
ter, so that no two are actually in contact, if gravity were 
destroyed, there can be no doubt that the particles, mu- 
tually repelling each other, would be dissipated throughout 
the universe. Nor is it true that any force is lost on the im- 
pact of bodies : in all cases, the equation v = (when 

M-f N 
V is the velocity of the body M before it impinged against N 
at rest : v is the common velocity after the stroke) shows 
that v will have a positive value, unless N be infinitely great ; 
and universally uX(M-)-N)=VM : Therefore there is no 
force lost ; and consequently there is no force in matter 
which must be overcome in causing motion. We grant that 
this meaning is not applicable to professor F's hypo- 

A different statement of what Brisson deems his decisive 
argument, may perhaps place it in a clearer light. Two bo- 
dies, elevated above the surface of the earth, if they be free, 
will be put in motion by the force of gravity, as they have 
no self-directive power : they will move towards the earth 
with a certain velocity ; and if we wish to increase the velo- 
city of either of them, we must apply an additional force : 
not because of any force in matter, but because there is 
none. The same observation is applicable to a similar illus- 
tration of Prof. Farrar's : "If, while a body is falling freely, 
it be forced forward by the hand with a velocity greater than 
that of its natural descent, the hand will experience on over- 
taking the body, a blow, or resistance :"* — that is, to increase 
the velocity of a falling body, we must, increase the cause of 
this velocity ; — we must augment the force : and the resis- 
tance, which the hand experiences is a natural consequence 
of the reaction of the body ; and the blow is exactly equal to 
what would have been received, if the hand had been at rest, 
and the body had struck against it with a velocity equal to 
the difference of the velocities of the hand and the body. 

* Cambridge Mechanics, p. 180. " Supon gamos un cuerpo que cal libremente 
a impulsos de su pesantez ; si le damos con la mano paraque cayga mas aprisa, 
esperimentarerJos tambien resistencia." Elementos de Mat. vol. 4, p. 9. The 
verbal coincidence of this with the quotation given above from the " Cambridge 
Mathematics," arises from Bails' having also used the " Cours de Mathematiques 
par Bezout" in the composition of his work. The same may be said of the quo- 
tations respecting the communication of motion. 

Remarks on Inertia. 57 

Why action and reaction are equal, we pretend not to give 
any reason except that such is the constitution of matter. . 

We have a striking example of the errors which arise from 
losing sight of the technical meaning of terms, and taking 
them in their literal signification, in the July number of the 
Franklin Journal : the new theory of falling bodies is in our 
opinion based upon the deception, which has originated in 
the phrase, "force of inertia," although this phrase is avoided 
in the essay. This is the age of discovery, and it appears 
that our western regions are not to be deficient in bringing 
forth things vast and wonderful, however we may fail in re- 
ducing them to shape and symmetry : but we are not all 
Symmesonians, neither do we all believe in the " Bakewellian 
Lecture,' 1 which Prof. Jones has thought worthy of a place 
in his Journal. Perhaps as this discovery came from the 
west, it will not be thought presumptuous in a western man 
to make a few remarks on it, especially as the theory proves, 
that in our observations on inertia, we have not been combat- 
ting with creatures of the imagination only. 

Mr. Bakewell may mean one of two things in his first and 
principal proposition : (since the second is only a corollary 
from it,) either that the attraction of gravitation is a constant 
force at all distances ; — always the same, and consequently 
always producing equal velocities : or that gravitating forces, 
however different in intensity will cause equal velocities. 
The first position is contradicted both by reason and experi- 
ment ; and the second is in itself absurd : since it makes un- 
equal causes produce the same effects. Force is explained, 
as well as that which expresses something in itself simple and 
indivisible can be, from its effect ; force then is that which 
causes motion. That unequal forces therefore, or unequal 
causes of motion should produce equal velocities, is not very 
evident, to say the best of it : we mean that the truth of the 
proposition is not very evident ; for as to the proposition it- 
self, a man of the plainest judgment could decide upon it 
without a moments hesitation, but the theory is unworthy of 
a detailed consideration ; we will endeavor " to trace the 
error to its, fountain head and thus refute it." 

"The fall of bodies," says Mr. B., "would be instantane- 
ous from any distance however great, but for the inertia of 
matter." What can be the meaning of the term inertia, in 
this sentence ? how can the passiveness of matter have any 
influence in diminishing the velocity caused by the force of 

Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 8 

58 Remarks on Inertia. 

gravity ? The body is altogether without directive power, 
and yields itself to the impulse of gravitation without choice 
and without resistance ; and how this state of things should 
diminish its velocity, and in such a remarkable degree too, 
(from passing over any distance whatever in an instant, to a 
few feet,) we confess that we cannot conceive. We conclude 
then, that Mr. B. did not intend to express what we under- 
stand by inertia ; and after some examination of the different 
applications of the term throughout the essay, we think that 
Mr. B. conveys by it the notion of agency. Thus, when we 
are informed that inertia prevents the instantaneous descent 
of bodies, from any height, we are to look upon inertia 
as an active force striving to retard the fall of bodies, 
and increasing in intensity of action, as the descending bo- 
dies approach the centre of attraction. Now, if this assump- 
tion, as to the meaning of the term, be supported by fact, 
there will be some appearance of consistency and truth in 
the theory : but we venture to say that it is entirely ground- 
less ; and that by the inertia of matter, the only thing which 
can be understood as having a real existence in nature, to 
which it corresponds, is the absence of all action ; just as 
darkness is the absence of light. 

It may serve to show the real strength of Mr. B.'s theory, 
to substitute the proper meaning of the term, inertia, in other 
places where it is used. " A ball of one pound will fall from 
a height of sixteen feet to the earth in one second ; a ball of 
one hundred pounds will descend over the same space in the 
same time :" we have been in the habit of thinking that the 
point to be explained in the instance just given, is why the 
large ball should fall as fast as the smaller one ; since large 
bodies are moved with greater difficulty : and we believed 
the thing fully accounted for, from the known fact that grav- 
itating forces increase as the quantity of matter ; and hence, 
although one of the bodies were a hundred fold larger than 
the other, and therefore moved with greater difficulty, as the 
gravitating force was increased in the same proportion, the 
velocity of the greater body must just equal that of the smal- 
ler. Mr. B., however, views this matter in a different light, 
and considers it necessary to give a reason why the one hun- 
dred pound ball, does not fall faster than that which weighs 
only one pound : — his reason is, " because the impeding 
quality, inertia, increases as the attracting quality weight :" 
■ — that is, the one hundred pound ball, is one hundred times 

Remarks on Inertia. 59 

more passive than that of one pound ! we candidly acknowl- 
edge that others may draw a different conclusion from the 
same theory, and that it will be as good as our own, except 
that it is totally unsupported by facts ; — that as inertia acts 
in opposition to gravity, the larger the body, the more com- 
pletely will the power of gravity be resisted. But we have 
not yet had Mr. B.'s own demonstration of his fundamental 
proposition ; and we can inform all whom it may concern, that 
the hundred pound and one pound balls play no unimportant 
part in it. " If this one hundred pound ball were removed so far 
from the earth, that its weight should be lessened ninety nine 
per cent., the impeding quality, inertia, would also be dimin- 
ished ninety nine per cent. ; and consequently the ball would 
fall from this point sixteen feet in one second of time. Now let 
us suppose that while the heavy ball is at this distance from the 
earth when it weighs only one pound, the attraction of the 
earth should be increased one hundred fold, the velocity of 
the ball, which before this augmentation of the attractive force, 
fell sixteen feet in a second, would not be changed because 
the impeding quality, inertia, would also be increased : con- 
sequently the attraction of unequal quantities of matter, on 
unequal gravitating forces, will cause equal velocities ; and 
therefore the rate of the fall of bodies pervades the universe." 
This impeding quality or property, which Mr. B. has imagin- 
ed, is a very convenient agent. To a person who uses the 
word inertia in the only proper manner, Mr. B. seems to have 
advanced some strange assertions : thus, although all matter 
is perfectly passive on the surface of the earth, by placing a 
body some forty thousand miles nearer the stars, Mr. B. 
makes it one hundred times less passive : and then, when it 
is in one of its most untractable moods, a force, diminished one 
hundred fold, produces the same effect upon it, as was caus- 
ed by the whole force, while the body was perfectly passive 
and most yielding. This is a whimsical hobby which Mr. B. 
has mounted : and we will e'en leave him and it together ; 
requesting them, with all respect, to reconcile with the " new 
theory," the fact, that the versed sine of an arc of the moon's 
orbit, passed over by that luminary in one minute of time, is 
no more than about sixteen feet. Z. 

60 On Crank Motion. 

Art. XI. — On Crank Motion; by Isaac Doolittle, 
Bennington Iron Works, Sept. 22, 1827. 

My Dear Sir — I had hoped to live long enough to see the 
discussion about the crank problem settled and dropped ; but 
the dispute seems to be interminable. 

The problem itself is as simple as any other in mechanics, 
and may safely be referred to the general principle adopted 
and laid down by all modern French mathematicians, when 
treating of the "principe de la conservation des forces vires" — 
That there can be no loss of power in any machine except 
what arises from one or more of the three following causes : 
friction, shocks, or a sudden change in the direction of motion,'''' 
(the resistance of media and the stiffness of cords being in- 
cluded under the general term of friction.) 

Now in considering the action of the crank, the two latter 
causes cannot operate ; there can, therefore, be no loss of 
power, except what arises from friction, and in all the dis- 
cussions which I have seen upon the subject, I do not now 
remember any in which this cause was taken into account. 

If there be, as is contended by one of your correspondents, 
a loss of more than one third of the power, in transforming 
an alternate rectilinear movement into a continued circular 
one by means of the crank, I should like to be informed 
what would be the effect if the proposition were reversed, as 
in the case of the common saw mill, and in many other in- 
stances in practical mechanics. 

Your correspondent has, in the last number of your Jour- 
nal, p. 77, no doubt through inadvertency, attributed to me 
the following equation: 

"PX.6366X semi circumference ==*X diameter." 

This is not my equation, nor is it true ; for according to 
his own assumption, Px.6366=t; and therefore the equa- 
tion attributed to me cannot be true, since the semi circum- 
ference is greater than the diameter, (in the ratio of 1 to 
.6366) and since it has been known, from the days of Euclid, 
that equal quantities, multiplied by unequal quuntities, can- 
not produce equal quantities. 

The equation I gave, (see Vol. 12, page 367.) 

Px.6366= demi-circumference=Px diameter, is true, 
and shows that there is no loss of power. 

On Crank Motion. 


I will offer one other demonstration, which I do not re- 
member to have seen published, and for which I am indebt- 
ed to Mr. Hogan, a practical mechanician, and lecturer on 
mechanics in Paris. 

B Suppose a force whose in- 
tensity is represented by the 
% line A.B. moving in the direc- 
tion A.E. ; the whole quantity 
of force expended in passing 
from A to E may be represent- 
ed by the surface of the paral- 
lelogram ABEF=the intensi- 
ty of the force X the distance 
through which it acts. Sup- 
pose farther, that the force or 
power be applied to the ex- 
tremity of a crank whose length 
is A.C. and whose center is in 
C. and that the crank has arri- 
ved at any point c of its revolu- 
tion : the force tending to ro- 
tation, on the tangential force 
in this point, according to the 
laws of the resolution of forces, 
J* will be represented by a c per- 
pendicular to the line of force. 
When the extremity of the crank shall have passed through 
an infinitely small space, and have arrived in d, the arc c.d> 
may be considered as a right line, the force tending to ro- 
tation, in this point, will be b.d. and the quantity of force 
tending to rotation during the passage from c to d will 

be= — — — ; the quantity of force applied 

during that passage will be A.B. x«6.=parallelogram abhi, 
— and because of similar triangles. 
gf:ce'.:Cf:cd whence 
ce X Cf=gfx cd. 
But c/=A.B. and ce=ab — therefore AB Xab=gfXcd, or 
in plain English, in whatever point of its progress the effect 
of the crank be considered, the power rendered is equal to 
the power applied — this being true as regards all the parts, 
must necessarily be true as regards the whole of its revolu- 

62 On Crank Motion. 

The effect of an alternate rectilinear force, applied to the 
extremity of the crank to produce rotation, is exactly similar 
to that of the force of gravitation on the pendulum during 
its descending arc ; and, if there Avere a loss of power in this 
case, the pendulum surely would not, in virtue of the force 
acquired during its descent, remount to the same height on 
the other side of the center. 

This problem admits of a variety of demonstrations, based 
as well on the laws of dynamics, as on those of statics, and 
all, as far as I know, confirmatory of the principles above laid 
down, but I think enough has been said on the subject to es- 
tablish the doctrine. 

Having submitted the foregoing to the inspection of one 
of the ablest mathematicians of our country, he says, " It ap- 
pears to me that Mr. Hogan has committed an error in not 
having taken time into consideration, and in estimating the 
space passed over as a measure of force, 11 &c. But I ap- 
prehend, that this objection will fall, when it is considered, 
that the measure of an effective force is found by multiplying 
its intensity by its velocity — and that the velocity of two for- 
ces passing over unequal spaces in equal times, is as the spa- 
ces passed over respectively. — As in the above demonstra- 
tion, the tangential force moves from c to d in the same time 
in which the applied force passes from a to b ; and as it is 
shown that the intensity of these two forces is in inverse ra- 
tio to the distances through which they respectively act — it 
will, I presume, be readily conceded that the cause and ef- 
fect are equal. 

I am, sir, with high respect and esteem, your obedient ser- 
vant. I. DOOLITTLE. 

Meteorological Observations. 

Art. XII. — Abstract of Meteorological Observations, made 
at Marietta, Ohio, in North Latitude, 39°, 25', West Long. 
81°, 30' — in the year 1827 ; by S. P. Hildreth. 






iMean tem- 
1 peratuie. 





























Depth of 

Inch and 


Prevailing Winds. 





w — w w 













76 22|54 






S S W — HT N W 










S & S W JT W W 




30 59 






S & S W W N W 











S & S W — S E & N 











S & S W N 











S & S W S E 











E & S E W N W 











S W W N W 











W N W S & S W 


43.00 63 

14 49 






W & N w — w& s w 


Mean temperature for the year, 54.92 — Rain, 41.48 inches — Prevailing winds, 
S. and S. W. — Hottest month, August ; coldest month, January. 

N. B. — The thermometer, has a northern exposure, in the 
shade. — Observations taken at 7, A. M. in winter, and at 6, 
A. M. in summer — and at 2 and 9, P. M. 

Observations on the year 1827. 
The past year has been unusually salubrious and fruitful ; 
the inhabitants remarkably free from diseases, more so than in 
any year since the first settlement of the country; no vior 
lent storms or tornadoes, excepting the heavy gale of wind 
in the afternoon of the 12th April, which continued for six 
hours, from the west, but without rain ; it swept across the 
country, from the shores of the upper Mississippi to Vermont, 
blowing down much timber, and unroofing some buildings. 
Fruit and crops of grain and grass, have been very abun- 
dant ; and the air so pure that in warm weather fresh meat 
kept free of taint, one or two days longer than usual. Early 
fruits were a week later than in 1826, owing to the diminish- 
ed temperature in May and June of 1 827, being less by ten 
degrees than in 1826. The temperature for the year is one 
degree greater than in 1826 — amount of rain nearly the 
same. The latter part of September and first of October, 
Aurora Borealis seen for the first time for many years. 

64 Profile Mountain. 

Art. XIII. — Notice of the Profile Mountain in New Hamp- 
shire ; by Gen. Martin Field. 

(See the Frontisepiece.) 


New Fane, Vt. Nov. 22, 1827. 

Dear Sir — On a late excursion, which I made among the 
White Mountains in New Hampshire, I visited Franconia 
and the Profile Mountain, which has long been considered a 
rare phenomenon. I there procured a sketch of the moun- 
tain, which I enclose to you, and if it meets your approba- 
tion, you will please to insert it in the Journal of Science, &c* 
I am sir, very respectfully, yours &c. 

Martin Field. 

The White Mountain range passes through the easterly 
part of Franconia, and presents numerous elevations and 
sublime mountain scenery. But the greatest elevation, in 
that vicinity, is Mount La Fayette, which forms the northern 
boundary of the Notch, so called, and is supposed to exceed 
four thousand feet, in height. The Profile Mountain is nigh 
the road leading from Franconia to Plymouth — is five miles 
from the lower iron works, in Franconia, and about three 
miles south of Mount La Fayette. The elevation of this 
mountain, I understand, has never been accurately ascertain- 
ed, but it is generally estimated to be, at least, one thousand 
feet. The road passes very nigh the foot of the mountain, 
from which it rises abruptly, at an angle of about 80° to the 
profile rock. The bare rock, on which the profile is delinea- 
ted, is granite, and having been long exposed to the atmos- 
phere, its color is a dark reddish brown. A side view of the 
projecting rock, near the peak of the mountain, in a northern 
direction, exhibits the profile of the human face, in which 
every line and feature are conspicuous. But after passing 
the mountain to the south, the likeness is immediately lost. 

* The sketch of the mountain, profile, &c. was taken by a gentleman of Bos- 
ton, and the likeness is a good one. The mountain scenery is filled up from 
fancy. The mountain is covered with trees and shrubbery, except the profile 
rock. The timber is a mixture of beach, birch, rock maple, bass wood, &c. 
with hemlock, spruce, and other evergreens. 


1 -W s>a*S 


Notice of the Louisville Canal, Spc. 65 

Art. XIV. — Notice of the Louisville and Shippingsport 
Canal, and of the Geology of the vicinity ; by Increase 
A. Lafham, assistant Engineer. 

(with plans, sections, &c.) 

The navigation of the Ohio river, which is of itself one 
of the most important, as well as most interesting waters of 
the west, is obstructed only by the rapids at this place, usu- 
ally called the falls of the Ohio. In these rapids, the river 
has a descent of twenty-two and a half feet, in a distance of 
somewhat less than two miles ; but in no case, has it a per- 
pendicular fall of more than three. At high water, an ac- 
celeration of current, not usual to other parts of the river, is 
all that is perceived ; but at low water, it cannot be passed 
by loaded boats, without great risk and danger. The direc- 
tion of the river, above and below the rapids, is from north 
east to south west. The point where it meets the rocky ob- 
struction, which occasions the falls, gives it a direction, near- 
ly at right angles, to the course above noted, which conse- 
quently gives it a more unfavorable and dangerous appear- 

The necessity for a canal around these rapids, must have 
been felt ever since the Ohio river first began to be naviga- 
ted, by boats of any considerable size ; and an attempt was 
long ago made, to construct a canal on the Indiana side of 
the river, but it did not succeed well. 

In January 1825, the present company was chartered, by 
the legislature of Kentucky, with a capital of six hundred 
thousand dollars, to construct a canal around the rapids of 
the Ohio, on the Kentucky side of the river. In December, 
of the same year, the work was put under contract to Col- 
lins, Chapman & Co. (formerly contractors on the New 
York canals) to be completed by the first of November, 1 827. 

It commences at the lower end of a basin, or esluary, 
which extends along the shore of the river, for the whole 
length of the village of Louisville, and is connected with the 
river at its upper end. From the lower part of this basin, 
the canal traverses the point formed by the bend of the river 
on the falls, and enters the river again at the lower part of 
the little village of Shippingsport. Its length is about two 
miles ; it is fifty feet wide on the bottom ; and its banks are forty 

Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 9 

66 Notice of the Louisville Canal, fyc. 

two feet above its bottom, which is four feet below the sur- 
face of the water in the basin at Louisville, at the time of 
low water. A mark on a house in Louisville, is said to be 
at the height of the highest flood known, since the settle- 
ment of the place. This mark was found to be forty feet 
above the bottom of the canal ; the banks are to be two 
feet above this indication of the highest floods. 

The whole amount of earth excavation, according to the 
original estimates, is six hundred and eighty-seven thousand 
cubic yards. This is to be excavated so as to make a slope 
of one and three fourths base to one rise. There are several 
modes resorted to in the excavation of this earth, but the 
most efficient are (as is usual on canals,) carts, scrapers, 
and wheelbarrows. The last of these modes is used, where 
the runs (as the plank-ways for the wheelbarrows are cal- 
led) are too steep to be ascended in the ordinary way, by 
fastening three or four of them to a rope, which at the 
top of the bank, goes over two pullies, and is then drawn 
by an ox team, parallel to the canal. When the barrows 
are at the top of the bank, the team is ready to retrace its 
steps, and draw up a similar set of barrows on another run 
and so on alternately. 

The amount of rock excavation originally estimated, was 
one hundred and eleven thousand cubic yards, but a small 
part of which, has been removed in consequence of the 
backwardness of the earth excavation. It extends the 
whole length of the canal, varying in depth from one foot 
to ten feet ; but on an average about seven. This is to be 
cut in a perpendicular manner, making the bottom of the 
canal, fifty feet wide. Consequently, we have a horizontal 
basis, on the surface of the rock, which is more or less ac- 
cording to the depth of the rock and serves as a foundation, 
and commencement of a pavement, which extends to the 
top of the banks. This pavement is necessary to prevent 
the abrasion of the banks, by the motion of the water pro- 
duced by the wheels of steamboats, &c. The excavation 
of rock is done by drilling, and blasting, and is afterwards 
removed from the canal, by the use of a crane of the same 
construction as those used on the mountain ridge in New 
York, invented by Mr. Orange Dibble. Of the crane I en- 
close a figure. 

There are four locks, three lift locks, and one guard-lock. 
They are all combined, and situated at the lower end of the 

Notice of the Louisville Canal, fyc. 67 

canal, or immediately below Shippinsport. The guard-lock 
is one hundred and ninety feet long, and fifty wide in the 
chamber. Its walls are forty two feet high, thirteen feet 
thick on the bottom, and five at the top ; the upper ends are 
semicircular with a radius of thirteen feet. The three lift- 
locks, have a lift of nine feet each ; they are of the same 
dimensions in the chamber, as the guard-lock. Their walls 
are twenty feet high, eight feet thick on the bottom, and three 
at top. The upper gates to these locks, are sunk four feet 
below the canal, or lock above, so that the water can be 
discharged through them to fill, and empty the locks without 
inconvenience to passing boats. Culverts of sufficient size, 
through the walls in the usual way, would too much weaken 

At the time of the last annual report of the President and 
Directors of the Louisville and Portland canal company, it 
was expected by them that the canal would have been com- 
pleted by this time. But they have been disappointed, as 
will be seen from the following statements. Of the six 
hundred and eighty-seven thousand cubic yards of earth, 
one hundred and forty-one thousand yet remain to be exca- 
vated — forty-four thousand is about the number of perches of 
mason work, to be laid in the locks, of which only thirteen 
thousand have been laid — nearly all the rock is yet to be ex- 
cavated — one stone arch bridge is yet to be built, where the 
turnpike crosses the canal, and a pavement extending from 
the top of the rock to the top of the bank. — Upon the whole 
it is considered as about one half completed. As a cause 
of this backwardnes of the contractors, perhaps it ought to 
be mentioned, that there is great difficulty in getting labor- 
ers in this part of the country, and particularly in the sum- 
mer season. 

One more year has been allowed by the Legislature for 
the construction of the canal, but whether it will be comple- 
ted within that time is a matter of some doubt. 

Having thus completed my description of the canal, it 
may not be unacceptable to add such observations relating 
to the geology of the country about the rapids, as I have 
made. Imperfect as they are, they may have their use. 
Of the rock strata there are four. 

First, limerock, the common compact limerock of the west ; 
as to the depth and extent of this rock, I am unable to 
speak with precision. It passes under the slate rock in the 

68 Notice of the Louisville Canal, fyc. 

banks of the river below Shippingsport, but whether it rises 
again I do not know. It contains a great variety of petri- 
factions. The minerals which I have collected from it, are 
few and common ; the principal are quartz crystals, calc- 
spar, and sulphuret of iron. Several springs issue through 
it, most of which contain a considerable quantity of oxide of 
iron, held in solution by means of carbonic acid. This has 
induced many persons to ascribe valuable medical proper- 
ties to these springs. 

When newly exposed to the air, this rock continually gives 
out an agreeable bituminous odor, occasioned by petroleum 
or Seneca oil, which is found filling the cavities. In some 
rare and small places, this rock is composed of small sixsided 
cells, resembling honey comb, generally covered with the bi- 
tuminous oil above mentioned.* 

It is this rock which forms the rapids of the Ohio. The 
stratum descends towards the west ; the edge of it project- 
ing above the surrounding country would form an obstruc- 
tion to the river, which would continue to rise, until it ran 
over at the lowest place, and then in regaining its former 
level it would form a rapid. Instead of continuing in its 
course, south west, it would run down in the direction in 
which the stratum descends ; or at least it would tend that 
way, and gradually adapt its course to it 

A variety of this limerock forms, when calcined in the 
usual way, a cement, which has the property of setting very 
hard under water ; hence the name water limerock has been 
given to it. A thin layer of a coarse grained limerock, prob- 
ably oolite or roestone, lies immediately on it. It forms a 
small island opposite to Shippingsport, called Rock island, and 
is quarried from the lock pits at the lower end of the canal. 
Its color is bluish-grey ; fracture conchoidal ; adheres slight- 
ly to the tongue ; emits an argillaceous odor when breathed 
upon ; and it effervesces with acids. When calcined, it is of 
a buff color, and does not slack with water, like common 
lime ; but is ground for use in a steam mill, erected for the 
purpose. It is used in the construction of the locks and oth- 
er mason work on the canal. 

* Mr. Lapham very properly objects to the popular impression, that this rock 
contains petrified honey comb ; these imbedded masses are evidently the variety 
of madrepore, called by Mr. Say, (see Vol. 1 of this Journal, page 384) Favosite ; 
productions as truly marine as any that are now formed in the existing oceans.— 

Notice of the Louisville Canal, fyc. 69 

The second rock is a black bituminous slate. It overlies 
the limerock above described, and forms the banks of the 
river, as far down as I have been (ten miles) ; and is seen in 
the bottom and banks of the numerous creeks, which enter 
the river from the north. This rock is said to be the same 
as that found at Pittsburg overlying the coal ; it is there- 
fore expected that coal will be found under it here. But 
boring has been tried near New Albany, three hundred feet 
deep, without finding either coal or salt. A spring that 
comes through this slate rock, near where the boring was 
made, contains a considerable quantity of sulphuretted hy- 
drogen gas, and this gas is continually rising through the 
water of the spring. The smell of this gas is perceived at 
some distance from the spring. I have seen no petrifactions 
in the slate rock. It sometimes contains small masses of 
sulphuret of iron, disseminated through it. The limerock 
above mentioned, with occasional patches of this slate, is the 
rock to be excavated in the construction of the canal. 

The third rock in order, is the sand rock. It is of a yellow- 
ish, and sometimes a blue color. It has a compact texture, 
and a laminated structure. It forms the hilly country west 
of the rapids, called the Knobs j and from one of these hills, 
the stone for the face of the lock walls is quarried. It con- 
tains but few petrifactions. The minerals are quartz crystals 
of a yellowish color, calcspar and sulphate of magnesia ; this 
salt, in a state of efflorescence, may be seen coating some 
of the stone brought here for the locks. This sandrock is, 
in some of the highest knobs, overlayed by another limerock. 
At the quarry this limerock is about twenty feet thick. This 
makes the fourth rock, which I have mentioned. 

The alluvion about the canal is chiefly blue and yellow 
clay, mixed with fine sand and gravel. It contains half de- 
cayed logs, bones of quadrupeds, &c. and occasionally prim- 
itive masses — all of which seem to indicate that the river had 
once run near where the canal now does. 

Should you think any part of this communication worthy 
of a place in the American Journal of Science, it is at your 

Besides the drawings of the river, &c. I send a geological 
profile from Louisville to the knobs, a profile of the canal, 
and a plan of the locks. 

Shippingsport, Nov. 10, 1827. 

70 Notice of Active and Extinct Volcanos. 

Art. XV. — Conclusion of the Notice and Analysis of Pro- 
fessor Daubeny's work on Active and Extinct Volcanos, 
from Vol. IS, page 310. 

Remarks on Volcanic Phenomena. 

From page 355 to 436, Professor Daubeny has given a very 
candid, able, and perspicuous statement of his course of rea- 
soning upon volcanic phenomena. It is compatible with our 
limits to state and quote only the outlines, and we will blend 
with the article, a few additional hints, such as the present 
state of science appears to us to warrant. 

Theories suggested anterior to the discovery of Galvanism 
and the Metals of the fixed Alkalies, and Earths. 

It is necessary, we apprehend, to occupy very little time, 
either in reciting or discussing these obsolete theories. We 
wish, however, not to treat them, or their authors, with con- 
tempt ; for they were, perhaps, the best that the then exist- 
ing state of science presented. 

" According to the first and most antient of these, volcanos 
were attributed to the combustion of certain inflammables, similar 
to those which exist near the surface of the earth, such, for in- 
stance, as sulphur, beds of coal, and the like ; and, in order to ac- 
count for the spontaneous inflammation of these substances, an 
appeal was often made to an experiment of Lemery's, which 
went to prove, that mixtures of sulphur and iron, sunk in the 
ground, and exposed to the influence of humidity, would give out 
sufficient heat to pass gradually into a state of combustion, and 
to set fire to any bodies that were near." 

Brieslak supposed, that volcanos are produced by petro- 
leum, collected in subterranean caverns, and kindled in some 
unknown way. Brieslak has shewn, that petroleum is very 
abundant in the globe ; a conclusion which has been still fur- 
ther extended by the researches of Hon. George Knox. 
(See Vol. 12, page 147 of this Journal.) It appears also, 
that petroleum is found, abundantly, in the vicinity of volca- 
nos, and that it is exhaled during their eruptions. The uni- 
form presence of sulphur also, in volcanos, and its copious 
exhalation, during their state of activity, seem to counte- 
nance the general idea, that they may arise from the burning 
of combustibles. 

Notice of Active and Extinct Volcanos. 71 

There are many reasons why this theory, however plausi- 
ble, appears untenable. 

1. The quantity of any of the ordinary combustibles, which 
could be supposed to be present in any one place, would be 
totally inadequate to the effect. Reasoning, analogically, 
from our knowledge of other parts of the world — what sup- 
ply of coal, bitumen, or sulphur could be adequate to sustain 
the fires of Vesuvius, or of Etna, of Hecla, of Cotopaxi, of 
Teneriffe, of Sumboa, or of Kirauea ! The most powerful 
beds of coal are but a few yards in thickness, and a few 
miles in extent. A few capital operations of any principal 
volcano would soon destroy the greatest existing bed of com- 
bustibles, and instead of continuing from age to age, as ma- 
ny of them do, all would soon be exhausted by the intense- 
ness of their own energy, and the consumption of their inad- 
equate magazines of fuel. 

2. There are many volcanic countries, (indeed most are 
of this description) where the geological structure and asso- 
ciations are such, as to forbid the existence of coal, the only 
combustible, sufficiently abundant to countenance such a 
theory. We should look in vain for many active volcanos, 
in countries of the coal formation, or of the anthracite series. 
Although volcanic fires, occasionally force a passage through 
any and every species of formation, there is reason to be- 
lieve, that they are deep seated — probably even in the primi- 
tive rocks, and in granite itself, where,, of course, there is no 
coal and little sulphur. 

3. When also (in the language of our author,) " we exam- 
ine more narrowly into the analogies between the effects of 
volcanic fires, and those which we know to result from the 
combustion of either of these materials, we are soon brought 
to confess the inadequacy of such an hypothesis to account 
for the facts before us. What resemblance, for example, do 
the porcelain-jaspers and other pseudo-volcanic rocks, as 
they are improperly termed, which we observe in coal mines, 
that have been for centuries in a state of inflammation, bear 
to the lavas and the ejected masses of a genuine volcano ; 
or where do we observe from them the same evolution of 
aeriform fluids, and of streams of melted materials which 
are so characteristic of the latter ?" 

4. The fermentation of pyrites and the combustion of sul- 
phur and bitumen and coal, although they do, without doubt 
produce certain effects, and sometimes those that are consid- 
erable, still these causes are totally inadequate to account for 

72 Notice of Active and Extinct Volcanos. 

the prodigious extent, inconceivable energy, and indefinite 
continuance, and successive reproduction, of volcanic phe- 

It is plainly impossible, that such results should take their 
origin from a few comparatively puny beds of common com- 
bustibles, and we must obviously seek for other causes more 
extensive and more powerful ; and which are not limited in 
their range, their energy, or their capability of reproduction. 

5. Gay Lussac* urged, with much force, against the theory 
of burning combustibles being the cause of volcanic action, 
that the atmosphere cannot possibly penetrate to those seats 
of volcanic power, when there is brought into action a pres- 
sure capable of raising a column of melted lava, three times 
as heavy as water, to the elevation of one mile or several 
miles. The objection seems unanswerable, as far as the at- 
mosphere is concerned : although we may suppose, that the 
combustion is sustained by water, provided there are com- 
bustibles capable of decomposing that fluid, which would not 
be the fact, with either of the combustibles named, except 
coal, and that only at the temperature of intense ignition, 
which must not only be produced, but must also be sustained 
in some other way, as the affusion of water upon ignited coal, 
unless there is also a copious supply of air, soon puts an end 
to the combustion. 

Earthquakes, fyc. 

Professor Daubeny, in settling " what appearances are to 
be considered as establishing the existence of volcanic 
action," states, that " some are unwilling to admit earth- 
quakes, as any probable indication of subterranean fire, 
whilst others not only include them, but go so far as to 
class hot springs, gaseous exhalations, and the eruptions of 
mud and petroleum amongst volcanic phenomena." 

Our author reasons with candor and moderation, as to the 
question, whether earthquakes and volcanos depend upon 
the same cause. On this point, however, we humbly con- 
ceive, that there can scarcely be any ground for hesitation. 

Volcanic eruptions are invariably preceded, and accompa- 
nied by earthquakes, and when the volcano discharges its 
contents, the earthquakes immediately relent, and ultimately 
Cease. It is plain, therefore, that those causes which produce 

*Annales de Chimie and de Physique, v. xxii. p. 415. 

Notice of Active and Extinct Volcano s. 73 

volcanos do also produce earthquakes. But, it will be asked 
may not earthquakes be produced by other causes? To this 
inquiry we must answer, that we know not of any other cau- 
ses that are sufficient to produce earthquakes, except those 
which modern science has assigned as the causes of volca- 
nos, and, as these are, agreeably to the Newtonian rule, 
" both true and sufficient" we are bound to admit them, at 
least till other and more probable causes can be suggested. 

" When we observe two volcanic districts, both subject to earth- 
quakes, which are ascertained to have a connection with the vol- 
canic action going on, and find that an intermediate country, in 
which there are no traces of the operation of fire, is agitated by 
subterraneous convulsions, similar in kind, but stronger in degree 
than those which occur in the more immediate vicinity of the 
volcanos ; have we not reason to conclude, that the same action 
extends throughout the whole of the above space, and that it is 
this which produces in the intermediate country the effects allu- 
ded to, which are only the more alarming from the absence of 
any natural outlet, from which elastic vapours might escape ? 

"Now in proof of the former of these positions, it may be 
scarcely necessary to do more than appeal to the case of Etna or 
Vesuvius, which rarely return to a state of activity, after a long 
interval of comparative quiescence, without some antecedent 
earthquake, which ceases so soon as the mountain has established 
for itself a vent.* Such was the case before the celebrated erup- 

* Humboldt gives us the following series of phcenomena, which presented 
themselves on the American Hemisphere between the years 1796 and 97, as 
well as between 1811 and 1812. 

1796. — September 27. Eruption in the West India Islands ; volcano of Guada- 
loupe in activity. 

November The volcano of Pasto begins to emit smoke. 

December 14. Destruction of Cumana by earthquake. 

1797. — February 4. Destruction of Riobamba by earthquake. 

1811. — January 30. Appearance of Sabrina Island in the Azores. It increases 
particularly on the 15th of June. 

May Beginning of the earthquakes in the Island of St. Vincent, 

which lasted till May, 1812. 

December 16. Beginning of the commotions in the valley of the Mis- 
sissippi and Ohio, which lasted till 1813. 

December Earthquake at Caraccas. 

1812. — March 26. Destruction of Caraccas ; earthquakes which continued 
till '1813. 

April 30. Eruption of the volcano in St. Vincent's ; and the same day 

subterranean noises at Caraccas, and on the banks of 
the Apure. Pers. Narr. Vol. IV. 

See also Gemellarro on the Meteorological Phcenomena of Mount Etna, ex- 
tracted in the Journal of Science, Vol, 14, 1813. 

Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 10 

74 Notice of Active and Extinct Volcanos* 

tion of 79 in Campania, and in that of Etna in 1537, where, says 
Fazzello, noises were heard, and shocks experienced, over the 
most distant parts of Sicily. In such cases no one would doubt the 
connection between the volcano and the earthquake." 

Teneriffe, furnished with the volcanic vent of Teyde, en- 
joys comparative immunity, while the neighboring islands 
are dreadfully agitated. If it be objected, that earthquakes 
are too extensive to have their effects attributed to the same 
cause with volcanos, we may reply, that volcanic movements 
generally accompany or succeed them, although it may be 
in remote countries, and the earthquakes of one country are 
often connected with those of another. 

"During the earthquake at Lisbon, in 1755, almost all the 
springs and lakes in Britain and in every part of Europe, 
were violently agitated ; many of them throwing up mud 
and sand, and emitting a fetid odor. The morning of the 
earthquake, the hot springs at Toplitz, in Bohemia, suddenly 
ceased to flow for a minute, and then burst forth with prodi- 
gious violence, throwing up turbid water, the temperature of 
which was higher than before. The hot wells at Bristol, 
were colored red, and rendered unfit for use for some months 
afterwards. Even the distant waters of lake Ontario, in 
North America, were violently agitated at the time. After 
the earthquake at Lisbon, Europe, Asia, Africa, and America 
were, for some time, violently agitated by subterranean ex- 
plosions. Etna, which had been in a state of profound re- 
pose for eighty years, broke out with great activity, and 
some of the most tremendous earthquakes and volcanic erup- 
tions recorded in history were witnessed in Mexico." (Bake- 
well's Geology.) It was at this time, (September 19, 1759,) 
that the mountain Jorullo, and the attending hornitos, al- 
ready described, broke forth. 

" During the earthquake at Lisbon, nearly all Europe, and 
a great part of Africa, felt the shock, more or less severely ; 
its effects were sensible even across the Atlantic." Vibrations 
that are not perceived on the surface, are sometimes experi- 
enced in mines. "During the earthquake at Lisbon, the mi- 
ners felt the rocks move, and heard noises, which were scarce- 
ly perceived by those above ; and Humbolt says, that he has 
seen workmen hasten from the mines in Marienburg, in Sax- 
ony, alarmed by agitations of the earth, that were not felt on 

Notice of Active and Extinct Volcanos. 75 

the surface." (BakewelPs Geology.) We will quote Mr. 
Bakewell, still further, as to the phenomena of earthquakes. 

"Earthquakes are almost always preceded by an uncommon 
agitation of the waters of the ocean, and of lakes. Springs send 
forth torrents of mud, accompanied with a disagreeable stench. 
The air is generally calm, but the cattle discover much alarm, 
and seem to be instinctively aware of approaching calamity. A 
deep rumbling noise, like that of carriages over, a rough pave- 
ment, — a rushing sound like wind, — or a tremendous explosion 
like the discharge of artillery, immediately precede the shock, 
which suddenly heaves the ground upwards, or tosses it from side 
to side, with violent and successive vibrations. The shock sel- 
dom lasts longer than a minute ; but it is frequently succeeded by 
others of greater or less violence, which continue to agitate the 
surface of the earth for a considerable time. During these shocks, 
large chasms and openings are made in the ground through which 
smoke and flames are seen to issue : these sometimes break out 
where no chasms can be perceived. More frequently stones, or 
torrents of water, are ejected from these openings. In violent 
earthquakes the chasms are so extensive that large cities have in 
a moment sunk down and forever disappeared, leaving a lake of 
water in the place. Such was the fate of Euphemia in Calabria, 
in 1638, as described by Kircher, who was approaching the place 
when the agitation of the ocean obliged him to land at Lopizi- 
cum : ' Here (says he) scenes of ruin every where . appeared 
around me;, but my attention was quickly turned from more re- 
mote to contiguous danger, by a deep rumbling sound, which ev- 
ery moment grew louder. The place where we stood shook most 
dreadfully ; after some time, the violent paroxysm ceasing, I 
stood up, and turning mine eyes to look for Euphemia, saw only 
a frightful black cloud. We waited till it had passed away, when 
nothing but a dismal and putrid lake was to be seen where the 
city once stood.' " 

To account for the extent to which the vibration of the 
solid substance of the earth will communicate both shocks 
and sounds, Mons. Gay Lussac (" Annales de Chimie," &c. 
Tome xxii, page 429,) remarks, that a vibration of the earth 
is similar to that of the air ; that it is a powerful undulation, 
produced in the mass of the earth, by some commotion, and 
that it is propagated, with the same celerity as sound. If we 
are surprised at the immense extent, to which the shock, the 
sound, and the ravages of an earthquake are perceived, we 
may be instructed by considering, that the shock produced 

76 Notice of Active and Extinct Volcanos. 

by the head of a pin, at one end of a long beam, is distinctly 
perceived at the other, in consequence of a vibration of all 
its parts. The movement of a carriage upon the pavements 
shakes vast buildings, and is communicated through great 
masses of matter, as in the deep quarries under Paris. M. 
Gay Lussac enquires, therefore, whether it is astonishing, 
that a violent commotion, in the bowels of the earth, should 
cause it to tremble through a radius of many hundred leagues. 
This philosopher concludes, that earthquakes are the result 
of the communication of a commotion through the mass of 
the earth, so independent of subterranean caverns, (which 
some have supposed favorable to the propagation of the 
sound and motion) that these effects will be propagated the 
more extensively, the more homogeneous the materials of the 
earth are. 

Our knowledge of elastic agents justifies us in concluding, 
that steam and gases, in a word, aeriform agents, as the im- 
mediate moving power, are the causes of volcanic eruptions, 
and of earthquakes. When evolved rapidly and suddenly, — 
that is, in very great quantities, in a given short time, and 
endowed with great elastic power by heat, they have, with- 
out doubt, sufficient energy to rend mountains, to raise 
floods of fiery lava — -to project stones to great heights in 
the atmosphere — to rock alpine ridges, on their founda- 
tions, to heave the ocean into unwonted undulations — to 
shake continents, and the solid globe itself, to its very centre. 
The effects of gunpowder, of fulminating preparations, and 
of imprisoned steam, when suddenly liberated, (now so fa- 
familiar to mankind,) fully justify us in attributing to elastic 
agents, all that we have done in this statement. 

This subject has been fully illustrated by Mr. Scrope, in 
his Considerations on Volcanos, of which we gave an abstract 
in Vol. 13, page 100, which renders it unnecessary to repeat 
the arguments there urged. 

Most hot springs have their origin from volcanic action. — 
Many that are not connected with active volcanic regions 
arise from basaltic rocks, and their composition is observed 
to be similar to that of the waters of volcanic districts, espe- 
cially in their containing soda or the mineral alkali. It is possi- 
ble that some hot springs — as, for instance, those of Bath and 
Bristol, may be derived from the fermentation of pyrites, or 
from other chemical agencies, generating heat, and that the 
permanency of the temperature may arise from the great 

Notice of Active and Extinct Volcanos. 77 

depth, at which the chemical action, giving origin to the heat, 
is sustained. 

Professor Daubeny is not disposed to attribute the occa- 
sional eruptions of mud and petroleum, to the immediate ac- 
tion of volcanos — but to the accumulation of sulphur, petro- 
leum, and other inflammable materials, produced perhaps 
by primeval volcanos, existing even (it may have been) un- 
der the ancient oceans, before the now existing volcanos be- 
gan their operations. He alludes, particularly, to the mud 
volcanos of Maculaba, in Sicily, which are detached from 
Etna, and appear to depend on the combustion of sulphur. 

There can be no doubt that Water is a great agent in pro- 
ducing Volcanos. 

Mons. Arago enumerates one hundred and sixty three ac- 
tive volcanos, nearly all of which are situated near to the 
sea, "in islands and maritime tracts." 

The apparent exceptions are few, and generally when ex- 
amined, they will not prove to be real exceptions. 

If there are, as is stated, but not fully confirmed, one or 
two volcanos in the centre of Tartary, they may communi- 
cate with the lakes of that country, some of which are saline. 

Joridlo, in Mexico, is one hundred and twenty miles from 
the ocean — but Colima, on the Pacific, and Tuxtla, on the 
Atlantic, may be regarded as the wings of a vast subterrane- 
an gallery, by which the waters of either ocean, may, ulti- 
mately, communicate with Jorullo, and we may presume, 
that a similar state of things exists with respect to the vari- 
ous mountain groups of Guatimala, Columbia and Chili. 

It does not appear to us important to insist, that the com- 
munication supposed, should, in every case, be with salt wa- 
ter. It is true, that muriate of soda is frequently sublimed 
in volcanos, and we may generally attribute this to the prox- 
imity of, or at least communication with salt water. But 
those great agencies, for which water is necessary in volca- 
nos, depend, not upon the foreign ingredients it may chance 
to contain, but upon its action in its own proper character, 
either fluid or aeriform, and upon the agency of its elements. 
It would, therefore, in our view, not militate, seriously, against 
the reasoning founded upon the supposed presence of wa- 
ter, if volcanos should break out, or be discovered in the 
midst of our greatest continents. We are always at liberty 

78 Notice of Active and Extinct Volcanos. 

to suppose a communication with water, when we have so 
much evidence of its existence in the bowels of the earth, in 
caverns, and internal lakes and springs, and rivers, besides 
the vast stores which we see on the surface. 

As to the extinct volcanos of France and other countries, 
as neither history nor tradition reaches to the period of their 
activity, although the evidence of their existence is unques- 
tionable, we may, with good reason, refer them to the period, 
when the countries in which they are situated, were sub-marine, 
or, when water existed abundantly, on the surface, in natural 
hollows, forming Jakes and inland seas, more or less extensive. 
But, it must be allowed, that water at the bottom of the 
ocean, existing under an enormous pressure of we know not 
how many miles of fluid, would be much more prone to reach 
the seat of igneous agency through those natural chinks and 
fissures by which the earth is, more or less, intersected, and 
therefore, this is an additional reason to prove, that the 
oceanic waters are principally active in producing volcanos. 

It does not follow, that the volcano, which is fed by the 
waters of the ocean, must, of course, be submarine ; it 
may break out through the communication, by which the 
water was admitted, or elsewhere, under the sea or the land, 
according to circumstances, depending upon the strength, 
nature, and connexions of the superincumbent strata. 

"The most constant and essential phenomenon of an active 
volcano, is the evolution of certain seriform fluids, which, 
forcing themselves a passage through the incumbent strata, 
carry up with them, whatever comes within the sphere of 
their violence, thus giving rise to ejections of stones, of ash- 
es, and of water." p. 371. 

What are the gases and aeriform bodies emitted by volca- 
nos ? Our author ascertained, that, at Solfaterra, there is 
sulphuretted hydrogen, and at Volcano, sulphurous acid ; 
but both are not found at the same place, as they mutually 
decompose each other, precipitating the sulphur of both, and 
forming water from the union of the hydrogen of the one and 
the oxygen of the other. Etna, as our author found, was full 
of sulphurous acid, but the vapor collected and examined, 
proved to be principally water, with a trace of muriatic acid. 

It is probable, however, that during an eruption, muriatic 
acid is evolved in great quantity, forming white clouds in the 
air, and the muriates of soda and ammonia are found abun- 
dantly in volcanic matters ; the former, Monticelli obtained 

Notice of Active and Extinct Volcanos. 79 

from lava in the proportion of nine per cent, simply by wash- 
ing, and the latter is sometimes so abundant as to form an 
article of commerce. 

Sulphureous vapors are justly regarded as characteristic 
of a true volcano, and they have been observed in Bourbon, 
Java, the Sandwich islands, Kamschatka, &c. 

The Rio di Vinegro, or vinegar river, mentioned by Hum- 
boldt, flows from the extinct volcano of Purace, near Popa- 
yan. The waters are fatal to fish, and the spray irritates the 
eyes of observers. In a litre of this water (2.1 13 pints) there 
were found, sulphuric acid 16.68 grains, muriatic acid 2.84, 
alumine 3.7, lime 2.47, and traces of iron. The crater emitted 
sulphurous acid abundantly, and there was a deposit of very 
pure sulphur, eighteen inches thick. A lake within the cra- 
ter proved to be a saturated solution of sulphuretted hydrogen, 
from whose reaction with the sulphurous acid, it is probable 
the sulphur arose. 

There is a similar river in mount Idienne, in Java, of which 
the following account is contained in Vol. 1, of this Journal, 
page 58. Great quantities of very pure sulphur, are obtain- 
ed in the crater of a large and now nearly extinct volcano, 
about sixty miles from the town of Batavia. It is in the cra- 
ter that the famous lake of sulphuric acid exists, and from 
which it flows in a river down the mountain, and through the 
country below. In the dry season it is absorbed by the 
sands, but at other times, another river, called the white riv- 
er, unites with this, some miles below its origin ; this river, 
turbid with suspended white clay, is salutary to men and ani- 
mals ; fishes live in it, and vegetation is nourished by its wa- 
ters ; but, after the junction, it becomes clear ; the acid dis- 
solves the earthy particles, which discolored it, and it now 
becomes fatal to living beings — kills the fish, destroys the 
vegetation, and corrodes the stones in its channel. This riv- 
er is called Songi Pouti. Analysis, by Vauquelin, shewed, 
that sulphuric acid was most abundant in this water; it con- 
tained also, muriatic acid, and small portions of sulphates of 
iron, alumine, and lime, and a little sulphur. — Tillock's Phil. 
Mag. vol. xlii, page 182. Annales du Musee, Tome xviii, 
page 425 ; the latter quoted by Daubeny. 

Carbonic acid gas is given out by volcanos, chiefly when 
nearly extinct ; but, it has not been observed, when they are 
in vigorous action. Professor Daubeny suggests, that in such 
circumstances, it may be decomposed by potassium, and that 

80 Notice of Active and Extinct Volcanos. 

its origin is probably from limestone strata, to which the heat 
gradually penetrates. 

Nitrogen gas is said to have been detected at Vesuvius, 
and in some other volcanos ; the existence of ammoniacal 
salts implies that of nitrogen, which may arise from the de- 
composition of atmospherical air, by combustibles and me- 
tals, even at a considerable distance from the fire. 

It is proved then, that the gases known to be given out by 
volcanos, are " muriatic acid, sulphurous acid, sulphuretted 
hydrogen, carbonic acid, and nitrogen," with an enormous 
quantity of aqueous vapor, whose condensation produces 
torrents of rain. We can scarcely doubt, that ammonia and 
hydrogen must also be present, although pure hydrogen has 
not been detected. It would of course unite with sulphur, 
if raised with its hot vapor ; atmospherical air, or decompo- 
sed water, would produce sulphurous acid, and these two ga- 
ses producing mutual decomposition, we should observe only 
that one which was in excess. 

Muriatic acid impairs the inflammability of hydrogen, and 
might thus prevent its burning. 

The muriatic acid is probably derived from muriate of 
soda, ignited with hot silex and alumine, and mixed with 
steam, in which case its alkali would unite with the earths, 
and its acid would be exhaled. 

Professor Daubeny founds his explanation of the causes of 
volcanos, upon the very interesting discovery of Sir Hum- 
phrey Davy, " that the solid constituents of our globe all con- 
tain some inflammable principle, and owe their present con- 
dition to the union of this principle with oxygen," and he 
thinks it by no means improbable, " that at a certain depth, 
beneath the surface, at which atmospheric air is either wholly 
or partially excluded, those substances may still exist in their 
pure unoxidized state." 

As they do not exist, and cannot, at the surface of the 
ground, we cannot expect any analogous phenomena to hap- 
pen under our observation, and we are, therefore, at liberty to 
reason strictly with reference to the known action of the sub- 
stances in question. 

Water having access to them, would be decomposed, great 
heat would be generated, sufficient to melt the rocks and the 
stony matter, formed by the oxidizement of the metalloids, 
immense quantities of gas and of steam would be evolved, 
and all the mechanical effects so familiar in volcanic erup- 
tions and earthquakes, would occur. 

Notice of Active and Extinct Volcanos. 81 

The composition of the lava That of Santa Vennera, 
of Catania, near Etna, as as- Piedmont, west of Etna, 
certained by Dr. Kennedy, is, 

Silex, 51. 50.75 










Ox. Iron, 




Muriatic Acid, 


100. 100. 

The author has reviewed the structure and mineralogical 
and chemical composition of the volcanic masses, in order 
to shew the correspondence of facts, with the theoretical 
views which he has adopted, and it must be allowed, that he 
has so far made out his case, that there appears to be nothing 
connected with volcanos, which militates against the sup- 
position of their origin from metalloids, acted on by water. 

There is good evidence that " volcanos have univer- 
sally broken out amongst the older formations, or those most 
near to the nucleus, whatever it may be, of the globe." The 
lavas themselves appear to be the materials of primitive 
rocks, altered by fire, and the accidentally imbedded frag- 
ments are portions of primitive rocks. It seems to be irre- 
sistibly inferred, that the seat of volcanic action is deep, be- 
cause the immense masses ejected from such mountains as 
Vesuvius and Etna do not exhaust them — because the mate- 
rials are raised to a vast height, as at Teneriffe and Cotopaxi, 
and because the mountains are not shattered by the tremen- 
dous explosions, which would blow up any superficial strata 
into the air. 

" Let us suppose, (says our author,) that the nucleus of the earth 
at a depth of three or four miles, either consists of, or contains as a 
constituent part, combinations of the alkaline and earthy metal- 
loids, as well as of iron and the more common metals, with sulphur 
and possibly with carbon. These sulphurets are gradually undergo- 
ing decomposition, wherever they come into contact with air and 
water, but, defended by the crust of the globe, just as a mass of 
potassium is by a coat of its own oxide when preserved in a dry 
place, the action goes on too slowly to produce any striking effect, 
unless the latter of these agents be present in sufficient quantity. 
Hence under our continents, the elastic fluids generated by this 

Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 11 f 

82 Notice of Active and Extinct Volcanos. 

process are compressed by the superincumbent mass of rock, un- 
til they enter probably into new combinations, or diffuse them- 
selves through the solid strata. 

" But under the sea, where the pressure of an enormous co- 
lumn of water assists in forcing that fluid through the minutest 
crevices in the rock, the action must go on more rapidly, and the 
effects consequently be of a more striking nature. 

" These effects however will take place in the middle of the 
sea less generally than on the coast, because the pressure of the 
ocean itself opposes an impediment; and it will in general not be 
constant, but intermittent, because the heat generated by the pro- 
cess itself will have a tendency to close the aperture by which 
the water entered, first, by injecting the fluid lava into the fis- 
sure, and secondly, by causing a general expansion of the rock; 
nor will the water again find admission, until, owing to the cessa- 
tion of the process, the rock becomes cool, and consequently again 
contracts to its original dimensions. 

" Now the first effect of the action of water upon the alkaline 
and earthy metalloids will be the production of a large volume of 
hydrogen gas, which, if air be present, will combine with oxygen 
and return to the state of water, if it be absent, will probably com- 
bine with the sulphur, both being at the high temperature favor- 
able to their union. In the former case nitrogen gas will be giv- 
en off, in the latter sulphuretted hydrogen. 

" But in case of the presence of oxygen, the sulphur will also 
become inflamed, and give rise to the production of sulphurous 
acid, which will predominate among the gaseous exhalations emit- 
ted from the mouth of the volcano, provided sufficient quantity of 
air be present to combine with the hydrogen and re-convert it 
into water. So soon however as the oxygen is consumed, the hy- 
drogen, no longer entering into combustion, unites with the heat- 
ed sulphur, and escapes in the form of sulphuretted hydrogen, 
which, towards the latter period of the eruption, will predominate 
over the sulphurous acid, because it continues to be formed long 
after the want of oxygen has put a stop to the production of sul- 
phurous acid. Now it is well known, that these two gases mutu- 
ally decompose each other, and therefore cannot exist at the same 
time, so that the appearance of sulphuretted hydrogen from the 
mouth of the volcano may indicate, if not the entire absence of sul- 
phurous acid at the place at which the process takes place, at 
least that its formation is stopped by the consumption of oxygen, 
or is going on with less energy than heretofore. 

"The very circumstance of the reproduction of water by the 
mutual decomposition of these two gases, might be the means of 
keeping up the action in a languid manner for an indefinite peri- 
od. The slowness with which lava cools would cause it to give 

Notice of Active and Extinct Volcanos. 83 

out for a considerable time sufficient heat to the adjoining" strata, 
to place the sulphur at the temperature necessary to cause its 
combination with oxygen; hence a certain portion of sulphurous 
acid would be continually emitted, which however would be soon 
decomposed by the hepatic gas present. The water resulting 
from this process would percolate into the recesses of the rock, 
act upon any portions of the alkaline and earthy metalloids that 
might have escaped the original action, and give birth to a 
fresh volume of hydrogen gas, ready in its turn to dissolve anew 
portion of sulphur, and thereby to contribute to the repetition of 
the same phenomena. 

"The separation of muriatic acid from the common salt pre- 
sent in sea water is explained, on the common principles of chem- 
istry, by the superior affinity exerted by the base for the siliceous, 
or aluminous earth than for the acid, and the sublimation of iron 
in the state of fer oligiste, rather than of peroxide, may re- 
sult from the deoxydizing property of the sulphuretted hydro- 
gen at the same time disengaged. The carbonic acid given off 
may be derived either from the carbonaceous matters that have 
entered into combustion, a view of the subject which is perhaps 
favored by the phenomena ofthepietra mala, or from the action 
of the high temperature upon the carbonates of lime and magne- 
sia, existing in the strata above the seat of the volcanic action. 
I have already remarked, that this latter gas is chiefly found in 
volcanos that have become extinct, or have been long in activitj r , 
where time appears to have been given for the heat to extend it- 
self beyond the immediate sphere of the volcanic action. 

" In short, on the supposition of salt water and air being brought 
in contact with the sulphurets of the metals and earthy metalloids, 
all the known phenomena of volcanos may be deduced in the or- 
der in which they appear to occur: in the first place, so long as 
air was present, an evolution of large volumes of muriatic, sul- 
phurous, and nitrogen gases, together with aqueous vapor, would 
take place ; at a later period, when the oxygen was expended, 
sulphuretted hydrogen and carbonic acid, with a smaller quantity 
of muriatic acid, would appear; lastly, when all the other ef- 
fects had subsided, aqueous vapor and carbonic acid might contin- 
ue to be evolved." 

The discussions which occupy the greater part of the last 
forty pages of Professor Daubeny's work must be studied in 
detail, in order to be intelligible, and they cannot be so in 
any event, except to geologists of considerable attainments. 
They relate chiefly to the following topics, namely, 

1, To the analogies between volcanic and trap rocks. 

84 Notice of Active and Extinct Volcanos. 

2. The reason of the difference in their mechanical tex- 
ture, and the circumstances under which the trap rocks were 

3. The reason of their greater compactness, their stony 
aspect being attributed to the slowness with which they 

4. Why submarine lavas have cooled slowly. 

5. The character of the volcanic products, formed while 
the ocean was retiring. 

6. The character of tertiary volcanic products. 

7. That of modern volcanic products forming streams and 
not beds. 

8. The character of lavas, of the second class, with the 
formation of tuffs, which the author is unwilling to attribute 
to mud eruptions, but refers them to water, although not to 
diluvial action. 

9. The rocks formed or ejected through the medium of 
dykes, with the changes produced by dykes on the rocks 
which they traverse. 

10. The difference between trap rocks and the products of 
modern volcanos, and the cause of the columnar structure 
common among trap rocks. 

1 1 . Arguments for and against the igneous formation of 
granite and other rocks. 

1 2. Evidences of a central heat. 

13. Local causes of heat in mines. 

14. Final causes of volcanos, and the evidence of their ex- 
istence from the beginning. 

It will be at once obvious, to those who are conversant 
with geology, that each of these topics is a fruitful text, from 
which extended and interesting discussions may be derived ; 
those discussions, however appropriate to geological lectures 
and treatises, would be misplaced in a Journal of Science. 

We will, therefore, close our citations and analysis, by 
the concluding remarks of the author, to whom we have been 
indebted for so much entertainment and instruction, and of 
whose work we have made a free use, believing it both deco- 
rous and useful so to do, in a country so remote from that 
where it originated, and in which it is as yet but little known. 

"For my own part, however seductive it maybe to the imagi- 
nation to explain on some one broad principle the phenomena of 
our globe, and to lay down the great ends which volcanos are cal- 

Notice of Active and Extinct Volcanos. 8& 

culated to serve in the economy of nature, I think it more consis- 
tent with sound philosophy to limit myself, to those effects which 
have obviously been produced by their action, and to those final 
causes of their existence, which may be presumed from phenom- 
ena which we ourselves witness. 

"The former of these inquiries has already been insisted up- 
on, and the occurrence of basalts in every class of rocks, under 
circumstances which establish igneous action, indicates that vol- 
canos have existed almost from the commencement of our globe. 

" With respect to the latter point, I shall only remark, that 
whatever may have been the end, for the sake of which the accu- 
mulation of inflammable materials in the interior of our globe 
was ordained, their existence there, under circumstances which 
admitted of their undergoing from time to time inflammation, ren- 
dered the production of volcanos not only a natural consequence, 
but even an useful provision. 

" They are the chimneys, or rather the safety valves, by which 
the elastic matters are permitted to discharge themselves, with* 
out causing too great a strain upon the superficial strata. 

" Where they do not exist, they give place to a visitation of a 
much more destructive nature ; for those who have experienced 
a volcano and an earthquake will readily testify, that the conse- 
quences of the former are by no (beyond ?) comparison lighter 
than those of the latter. i 

"The same country is indeed often exposed to this double ca- 
lamity, but that the existence of the volcano is even there a 
source of good, appears from the fact, that the most terrible ef- 
fects are felt at a certain distance from the orifice, although the 
focus of the action is probably not far removed from the latter. 

" The agitations, which took place during six years at Lance- 
rote, likewise shew, how much more destructive the effects of 
subterranean fire appear to be, where no permanent vent is es- 

"Thus far we have proceeded on solid grounds, — but if we are 
willing to push the enquiry farther, and to speculate on the other 
ends which volcanos may be intended to answer, it may perhaps 
not be too bold an hypothesis, when we consider their general 
distribution, to imagine that they are among the means which na- 
ture employs, for increasing the extent of dry land in proportion 
to that of the ocean. 

" That such is the tendency of the processes daily taking place, 
appears from various considerations, and from none more re- 
markably than from the formation of coral reefs, a cause of in- 
crease to the quantity of dry land, with which the destroying 
agencies that are also at work have nothing to compete. 

" In speaking of the Canary islands I observed, that volcanic 
processes seem much more frequently to have elevated, than to 

§6 Notice of Active and Extinct Volcanos. 

have submerged, tracts of country ; and if we consider, that co- 
ral reefs are mostly founded on shoals caused by volcanic matter 
that has been thrown up, a sort of consistency will appear in this 
instance to exist in the arrangements of nature, which leads to 
the belief, that fire and water are both working together to a 
common end, and that end, the preparation of a larger portion of 
the earth's surface for the reception of the higher classes of an- 

" There may be something fanciful in what I am now going to 
suggest, with regard to another end which volcanos may be con- 
jectured to fulfil ; yet if there be any truth in the idea, that the 
pressure of the ocean would be constantly forcing a certain por- 
tion of its waters through fissures into the interior of the earth, it 
would seem that there ought to be some compensating process, 
hy which the ratio between the sea and land might be preserved 

" This would perhaps be afforded by the action of volcanos, 
which restores to the surface just as much water as has been ad- 
mitted to the spots at which the process is going on ; for though 
the first effect of the action is to decompose that fluid into its con- 
stituents, yet the immediate consequence is, as we have seen, the 
disengagement of a large volume of sulphuretted hydrogen and 
sulphurous acid gases ; so that by the action either of the latter 
fluid,«or of atmospheric air upon the former, the whole of the hy- 
drogen of the water, sooner or later, becomes re-united with oxy- 
gen. This indeed is one cause of the quantity of steam given out 
from the craters of all burning mountains. 

" The products of the volcanic action also, though, from the 
individual mischief they occasion, they can hardly be viewed by 
the inhabitants of the country overspread by them in any other 
light, than as serious present calamities, do not nevertheless de- 
serve to be considered as permanent or unmixed evils. 

" It is true, that there is something gloomy and depressing in 
the contemplation of a volcanic mountain, when we consider the 
cities it has overwhelmed, the fields it has reduced to desolation. 
" Yet if we do not adopt the notion once so prevalent with re- 
spect to the speedy dissolution of the globe, if we take up the 
more pleasing, as well as, I conceive, the more probable opinion, 
that a world, which required so many ages to prepare it for the 
accommodation of its present inhabitants, is destined for many 
ages more to afford them a suitable abode ; there is then some- 
thing consolatory in the reflection, that the very lava, which for 
so long a period has spread the most hopeless sterility over the 
ground it traverses, in process of time crumbles into the richest 
of soils ; and that, if we take the case of the neighborhood of 
Naples as the volcanic district with which we are best acquaint- 

Notice of Active and Extinct Volcanos. 87 

ed, the experience of what has happened before justifies a belief, 
that the inflammable materials which supply the fires of Vesuvi- 
us will ultimately be expended, and that the mountain may at 
some future period return to the fertile condition, which Martial 
describes as belonging to it, when its heights were covered with 
vineyards, and the very spots surrounding the actual crater were 
considered the favorite resort of the Gods. 

" His est pampineis viridis Vesuvius umbris, 

Sparserat hie madidos nobilis uva lacus. 
Haec loca, quam Nysae colles, plus Bacchus amavit, 

Hoc nuper Satyri monte dedere choros, 
Haec Veneris sedes. Lacedaemone gratior illi, 

Hie locus Herculeo nomine clarus erat." 

Conclusion. — Theory of Volcanos. 

In concluding this long account of volcanic phenomena, 
and of their possible and probable causes, we may be permit- 
ted to observe — 

That having been for the last ten or twelve years, in the 
habit of applying the remarkable discovery of the metallic 
bases of the fixed alkalis and earths, to the explanation of 
volcanic phenomena, we have been led to embrace nearly all 
the opinions of our author on this head, with some addition- 
al views, which may perhaps be admitted, until something 
better shall be suggested. 

The act of creative energy, admitted alike by religion and 
philosophy, necessarily implies the production of all the ele- 
ments of which our physical universe is composed. How far 
these elements were originally united in binary, ternary, or 
still more complex combinations, we cannot possibly know. 
The revelation of this fact, not being necessary to our moral 
direction, has been withheld by the Creator, and we know 
only — that " In the beginning God created the heavens and 
the earth." As to the actual condition of the elements, at 
that primeval period, science may fairly enquire, and is jus- 
tified in reasoning within the limits prescribed by our moral 
condition and intellectual powers. 

In the present state of chemical science, our elementary- 
bodies are divided, very nearly, between the two classes, com- 
bustible and metals, which really form but one class, and 
those agents, which from their acting with peculiar energy 
upon the combustibles and metals, and altering their prop- 
erties, are called by some, supporters of combustion ; — they 

8 8 Notice of Active and Extinct Volcanos. 

are oxygen and chlorine, and some add iodine, and an ima- 
ginary body called fluorine. 

If we extend the idea of combustion, as several authors 
are disposed to do, to all cases of intense chemical action, 
especially if attended with the extrication of light and heat, 
we shall include the agency of the combustibles and met- 
als upon each other, as well as upon the proper supporters 
of combustion. For our present purpose, it is quite immate- 
rial which view is embraced. 

If we suppose that the first condition of the created ele- 
ments of our planet, was, in a state of freedom ; the globe 
being a mass of uncombined combustibles and metals ; 
when the waters, the atmosphere and chlorine, and iodine 
and perhaps hydrogen were suddenly added ; it will be ob- 
vious from what we now know of the properties, of these el- 
ements, that the collision would awaken dormant energies, 
whose first operation would be a general and intense igni- 
tion, and a combustion of the whole surface of the planet. 
Potassium, sodium and phosphorus would first blaze , and would 
immediately communicate the heat necessary to bring on 
the action between the other metals and combustibles in re- 
lation to the oxygen and chlorine, and in relation to each 
other. Thus, a general conflagration would be the very 
first step in chemicaLaction, and life not having yet dawned 
on the planet — this conflagration would be the step most ad- 
mirably fitted to prepare the globe for the living beings by 
which it was to be peopled. 

Thus, would be formed the alkalies, the earths and stones 
and rocks, — the metallic oxids properly so called — the sul- 
phurets and phosphurets of the metals — the carburet of 
iron — the acids, including the muriatic, and ultimately the 
salts, and chlorides, alkaline, earthy and metallic, and many 
other compounds resulting either from a primary or seconda- 
ry action. 

In such circumstances, there would also be great commo- 
tion — steam, vapors and gases would be suddenly evolved in 
vast quantities, and with explosive violence ; the imponder- 
able agents, heat, light, electricity, and magnetism, and at- 
traction, in various forms, would be active, in an inconceiva- 
ble degree, and the recently oxidated crust of the earth 
would be torn with violence, producing fissures and caverns 
dislocations and contortions, and obliquity of strata ; and it 
would every where bear marks of an energy then general, but 

Notice of Active and Extinct Volcanos. 89 

now only local, and occasional. It is however obvious, that 
this intense action would set bounds to itself ; and that the 
chemical combinations would cease, when the crust of in- 
combustible matter thus formed, had become sufficiently 
thick and firm, to protect the metals and combustibles, from 
the water and the air, and other active agents. 

As we are not giving a theory of the earth, but merely 
stating the conditions of a problem, we forbear to descant 
upon many obvious collateral topics, or to pursue the vari- 
ous rock formations, through the vicissitudes which might 
have attended them.* We do not even undertake to say, 
that we believe that such events as we have endeavored to 
describe, did actually happen ; we say only, that their exis- 
tence is consistent with the known properties of the chemi- 
cal elements, and with the physical laws of our planet. Sup- 
posing that such was the actual progress of things, it is obvious 
that the oxidated crust of the globe, would still cover a nucleus 
consisting of metallic and inflammable matter. Of course, 
whenever air and water, or saline and acid fluids, might 
chance to penetrate to this internal magazine, the same vio- 
lent action which we have already supposed to have happen- 
ed upon the surface, would recur, and the confinement and 
pressure of the incumbent strata, increasing the effects a 
thousand fold, would necessarily produce the phenomena of 
earthquakes and volcanos. 

Still, it is equally obvious, that every recurrence of such 
events, must oxidize the earth deeper and deeper, and if the 
point should ever be attained, when water or air ceased 
to reach the inflammable nucleus, the phenomena must 
cease, and every approximation towards this point would 
render them less frequent. 

Does this correspond with the actual history of these 
events ? Are they now less frequent, than in the early ages 
of our planet ? The answer to this question must depend so 
much upon the theoretical views entertained of the forma- 
tion of granite, and of the other primitive rocks, that it may 
be impossible, at present, to bring it to a decision. 

Whatever we may think of the hypothesis now detailed, 
and which we suppose to coincide substantially with the 
views of our author, may we not suppose, with sufficient pro- 

* The present hypothesis does not exclude the subsequent action of water, in 
dissolving chemically, or disintegrating mechanically, the crust of the globe. 

Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 12 

90 Notice of Active and Extinct Volcanos. 

bability, that those Voltaic powers which we hnoiv to exist— 
whose^action we can command, and whose effects* havingbeen 
first observed, within the memory of the present generation, 
now fill us with astonishment, are constantly active in pro- 
ducing the phenomena of earthquakes and volcanos. 

Arrangements of metals and fluids are the common means 
by which we evolve this wonderful power, in our laborato- 
ries ; and it would seem that nothing more than juxta posi- 
tion, in a certain order, is necessary to the effect. Even sub- 
stances apparently dry and inert, with respect to each other, 
will produce a permanent, and in proportion to the means 
employed, a powerful effect ; as in the columns of De Luc 
and Zamboni. It would seem indeed, that metals and fluids 
are not necessary to the effect. Arrangements of almost 
any substances that are of different natures, will cause the 
evolution of this power. Whoever has witnessed the over- 
whelming brilliancy and intense energy of the great galva- 
nic combinations, especially of the deflagrator of Dr. Hare, 
and considers how very trifling, in extent, are our largest ar- 
rangements of apparatus, compared with those natural ar- 
rangements of earths, salts, metals and fluids, which we know 
to exist in the earth, in circumstances similar to those, which, 
in our laboratories, are effectual in causing this power to ap- 
pear, will not be slow to believe, that it may be in the earth, 
perpetually evolved and perpetually renewed ; and now mi- 
tigated, suppressed or revived, according to circumstances 
influencing the particular state of things at particular places. 

In our laboratories, we see intense light, irresistible heat, 
magnetism in great energy, and above all, a decomposing 
power, which commands every element and every proximate 
principle, in every compound. 

Sir Humphrey Davy, after discovering that the supporters 
of combustion and the acids, were all evolved at the positive 
pole, and the combustibles and metals, and their oxidated 
products, at the negative — proved, that even the firmest 
rocks and stones could not resist this power, their immediate 
principles and elements being seperated by its energy. The 
decomposition of the alkalies, earths, and other metallic 
oxids being a direct and now familiar effect of Voltaic en- 
ergy — their metals being set at liberty, and being combusti- 
ble both in air and water — elastic agents produced by this 
power, and rarefied by heat, being also attendant on 
these decompositions, it would seem that the first principles 
are fully established by experiment, and that nothing is hy- 

Notice of the late Aurora Borealis. 91 

pothetical, but the application to the phenomena of earth- 
quakes and volcanos. 

It appears an important recommendation of the present 
view, that causes as here provided which admit of indefinite 
continuance, and of unlimited renovation. There appears 
no reason why, on the whole, the phenomena should cease, 
as long as the earth exists. It has therefore the great New- 
tonian requisites of a good theory ; its principles are true, 
and it is sufficient. 

It has this additional advantage — it embraces all that is 
possible in former theories. Coal, lignite, sulphur and pe- 
troleum, and fermenting pyrites, will all conspire with the 
great operations, at which we have so briefly hinted. Burnt 
substances will return again to their combustible condition, 
and combustibles will burn anew, in unlimited succession. 
Heat, light, electricity, magnetism, decompositions and re- 
compositions without number, — the evolution of elastic fluids 
in boundless quantities, and ill the violent mechanical ef- 
fects, which their action is nown to produce ; these are 
among the known and familih. ■ effects of this power, and all 
the materials, necessary to render it active, are existing in 
the earth, on a scale of immense extent. These sugges- 
tions might be fortified by many particulars. At pres- 
ent they are thrown out, as leading, although not entirely 
original thoughts, and in concluding we can only say with 

Si quid novisti rectius istis 
Candidas imperti ; si non his utere mecuni. 

Art. XVI. — Notice of the late Aurora Borealis, in a letter 
from Mr. Benjamin D. Silliman, to the Editor, dated 
New York, October 20th, 1827; also in letters from Dr. 
Holyoke, Professor Cleaveland, and others, and in 
notices selected from the newspapers. 

Dear Sir — I have taken pains to collect some facts, in re- 
lation to the beautiful phenomenon (connected, as is suppo- 
sed with the Boreal Lights,) which was visible on the night 
of the 28th of August, 1827 — and now transmit the substance 
of them to you, that if deemed important, it may be preser- 
ved in the xlmerican Journal of Science. They may per- 
haps prove valuable, in connexion with similar phenomena 
which may be hereafter observed. 

This aurora borealis was generally seen in the northern 

92 Notice of the late Aurora Bor eatis. 

states, in most portions of which there were no material vari- 
ations in its appearance, while farther south, it assumed a 
less uniform character. In this city, it was first observed at 
about half past nine, P. M., at which time the light, except- 
ing as regards its whitish hue, resembled that produced by a 
fire at some distance, and to such a cause it was, for some 
time, attributed by many. The light soon however became 
more intense, and its outline more distinctly defined, gradu- 
ally assuming a columnar shape, and extending from about 
N. N. W. to a point in the opposite horizon, about E. N. E. 
In about ten or fifteen minutes from the time that I first ob- 
served it, waves of light, in detached masses, but all in the 
line of the luminous arch, began to flow from the eastern to- 
ward the western part of its course, until the whole were 
blended, and the heavens were adorned with the beautiful 
arch, extending from the terminations which I have above 
named, to a point about fifteen degrees north of the zenith. 
The greatest breadth of the arch at its centre, was about nine 
or ten degrees, tapering from that point to the western ex- 
tremity, (where the light was much brighter,) almost to a 
point. The eastern segment was, at no time, so distinct as 
the opposite, but was rendered very beautiful from the con- 
stant passage of the waves of apparently illuminated vapor, 
the lines of which were at right angles with the line of the 
arch, and extending from north to south, toward the western 
part, and in an opposite direction to the course of the wind. 
The whole arch moved with a gradual and pretty uniform 
motion, toward the south, and passed the zenith at about 
three quarters past ten, presenting to the eye, throughout its 
whole length, a broad, bright band of wavy light, studded 
with stars, which were seen distinctly through it. As it pas- 
sed the zenith, towards the south, its eastern limb became 
less distinct, breaking up into columns of great brightness, 
with dark spaces between them, and diminishing in lustre 
and magnitude until they disappeared. In the mean time, 
the western segment became more exact in its outline, and 
was as well defined, as a pencil of rays passed through a prism 
into a dark room. The color was a bright white, and slowly 
faded, until about two hours from the time of its first appear- 
ance, when it was no longer visible. The Aurora Borealis 
had, for several evenings, been unusually brilliant, and the 
atmosphere, was at this time, cool and very clear. On Tues- 
day evening, during the continuance of the arch, the light of 
the common Aurora was not very brilliant, but after its dis- 

Notice of the late Aurora Borealis. 93 

appearance, was unusually splendid and vivid. A great bank 
of light lay almost permanently in the northern horizon, some- 
times surmounted by, and sometimes resting upon, a dark 
cloud, which was visible during the whole time. Occasion- 
ally, broad flashes of the Aurora would illuminate the cloud, 
shaded by its denser spots, and presenting an appearance 
similar to that of a black thunder cloud penetrated by 
vivid lightning. This dark cloud was visible, and in the same 
situation, at sea, as will be seen by the following extract from 
the log book of the British ship Dalhousie Castle, captain 
Walton, from Liverpool for this port, published in some of 
the papers. 

" Tuesday, August 28th, 1827- — As daylight closed, the moon 
had a remarkably red aspect, the sky was clear, and stars brill- 
iant. At 9, 30, a dark cloud was rising to the northward, and soon 
afterwards strong perpendicular rays of light were seen from the 
N. E. to N. N. W. — these rays rose in shape of a cone, or to a 
point, the lower part resembling much the tail of a comet, becom- 
ing now and then more or less bright. This continued till 10 
o'clock, (in which interval the moon had sunk below the horizon, J 
when a far stronger ray of light appeared in the N. W. in width 
about eight or nine degrees, and which ascended to thirty five de- 
grees. After remaining stationary a short time, it ascended till it 
reached the zenith, and afterwards formed an arc. This contin- 
ued till about 11, 30, when the upper part inclining to the south- 
ward, gradually died away. The dark cloud remained stationary 
all this time, from fifteen to twenty degrees high, and till mid- 
night, and the strong light from N. E. to N. N. W. continued till 
after one, A. M. — the intermediate space between the lower part 
of the cloud and horizon filled with a dense haze. On the 27th, 
we experienced squally weather with rain and bright lightning. 
The whole of the 28th was fine weather with light breezes. On 
the 29th fine weather with light breezes. No appearance during 
the evening or night of the light. 

[The situation of the ship at 10, P. M. was lat, 42° 12' N. Ion. 
63° 9' W.] 

At Auburn, in this state, the appearance of the arch was 
similar to what I have above described, excepting that it 
continued distinct as a whole but about fifteen minutes. 
The thermometer at that place stood at 54°, and the ba- 
rometer at 29.68. 

At Canandaigua it was seen and described as above, the 
dark cloud stretching from east to north after its disappear- 

94 Notice of the late Aurora Borealis. 

ance and the coruscations of the Aurora shooting up with 
unexampled splendor to the zenith, and illuminating with a 
flitting light the Avhole northern half of the firmament. 

At Rochester and at Utica its appearance was the same ; 
and at the latter place reports were distinctly heard, produ- 
cing a sharp, snapping noise, like the discharge of an electric 

At Troy, two luminous spots were observed, one in the 
east, and the other in the west, and from these two the col- 
umns of light rose and met one another a little north of the 
zenith. The flowing of the light from east to west was con- 
stant, and is described as resembling the peculiar action of 
the angle worm as it puts itself in motion. 

An intelligent gentleman who was at the time in St. Law- 
rence county, informs me, that the reports were heard during 
the existence of the arch, but that afterwards, while the co- 
ruscations of the aurora were so splendid, the report was 
very distinct and loud, and of the character of those heard 
at Utica. 

On the east end of Long Island, at Sag Harbor, and other 
places, the phenomenon of the arch was visible, with the dif- 
ference, that its brighest point was at the zenith, where it ap- 
peared much agitated. 

At Portsmouth, Keene, and Charlestown, in New Hamp- 
shire, its appearance is described as having been in all res- 
pects, similar to that at this place. 

In Lower Canada, at Quebec and Montreal, it was even 
more splendid than with us. The coruscations of the au- 
rora are represented to have been awfully grand, on the eve- 
ning of Monday, the 27th, extending in broad columns from 
the north to the east, and shooting up to and even past the 
zenith. A gentleman travelling on the St. Lawrence at the 
time, between Montreal and Quebec, mentions, that the 
moon had gone down, but so bright and permanent were the 
flashes of the aurora, that objects about the vessel and upon 
the shore were as distinctly visible as though the moon had 
been shining without a cloud. During this time, the south- 
ern part of the firmament was illuminated with streams and 
clouds of light, which lasted for about two hours, with a con- 
stant and tremulous agitation. A letter from a gentleman 
in Quebec, to the editor of the Commercial Advertiser 
of this city, in speaking of the arch of Tuesday evening, 
says : — 

Notice of the late Aurora Borealis. 95 

"During the whole time this phenomenon was seen, the north- 
ern part of the hemisphere continued calm, developing the vivid 
displays of the Aurora Borealis, which are sometimes seen in the 
high latitudes, and described in the Encyclopedia; but the ri- 
sing of the light from the south, was to me perfectly novel. It 
was also remarkable that occasionally the flakes of light would 
shoot across the heavens in a large angular direction, from be- 
tween the N. W. and N. E., so as to unite with the exhalations 
which continually arose from the southward, and a perceptible 
impetus was given to the rapidity of the circular motions, while 
the additional light was almost immediately concealed behind the 
dense clouds, which in the south gradually accumulated." 

In Massachusetts, its appearance at Boston, Salem, New- 
buryport, Williamstown, and elesewhere was not materially 
different, from that at this city. The same was the fact at 
Providence, Taunton, Pawtucket, &c. 

In New Haven, Con. it presented the same appearance, 
and was accompanied by reports, which increased in fre- 
quency, and distinctness, with the dartings of the Aurora. 
These reports were noticed by some gentlemen of the Fac- 
ulty of Yale College, who were making observations upon 
the phenomena at the time. 

At Philadelphia the bow appeared as in this city, the same 
was the fact at Norfolk. 

At Baltimore the arch was not as distinct and perfectly 
formed as here, but resembled rather a line of comets, which 
soon disappeared. 

I perceive by the English papers, that the coruscations of 
the Aurora have been singularly splendid during the present 
season in that country, the following is extracted from a 
Scotch paper dated (I believe,) some time in the month of 
August, and notices, as will be seen, a similar occurrence to 
that in this country, of the 28th of the same month. 

From the Perth {Scotland) Courier. 

"One of the most brilliant and picturesque appearances of the 
Aurora Borealis ever seen in this quarter, exhibited itself on the 
evening of Monday last. The coruscations were very rapid and 
transparent, and overspread nearly the whole northern hemis- 
phere. Some of the flashes were almost vertical, and latterly 
they resembled in clearness and motion the undulations of a 
bright flame. At one time the meteors formed themselves into 
a narrow belt, crossing the heavens from east to west," 

96 Notice of the late Aurora Borealis. 

Phenomena similar to this have been observed heretofore. 
The London Philosophical Magazine, describes three — one 
of which occurred on the 11th September, 1814, the second 
on the 24th of September, 1816, the third on the 17th of 
October, 1819. The circumstances attending them, were 
generally similar to that of August last. 

In the second volume of the memoirs of the American 
Academy of Arts and Sciences, an account of a similar phe- 
nomenon which occurred on the 27th of March, 1781, is giv- 
en by Caleb Gannet, Esq. F. A. A. It differed from the 
last only as to the point from which it arose, which was the 
east instead of N. W. 

Captain Parry, on his third voyage for the discovery of a 
northwest passage, made a number of interesting observa- 
tions of the aurora, while at Port Bowen, lat. 73°, 15', be- 
tween October, 1824, and March, 1825. On his return voy- 
age in September, 1825, the light of the aurora was for sev- 
eral nights so strong and permanent, as to throw the shadow 
of objects on the deck. His journal says, 

" The next brilliant display, however, of this beautiful phe- 
nomenon which we now witnessed, and which far surpassed any 
thing of the kind observed at Port Bowen, occurred on the night 
of the 24th of September, in latitude 58 1-2 degrees, longitude 
44 1-2 degrees. It first appeared in a (true) east direction, in 
detached masses, like luminous clouds of yellow sulphur colored 
light, about three degrees above the horizon. When this ap- 
pearance had continued for about an hour, it began, at 9, P. M. 
to spread upwards, and gradually extended itself into a narrow 
band of light, passing through the zenith, and again downwards 
to the western horizon. Soon after this, the streams of light 
seemed no longer to emanate from the eastward, but from a fix- 
ed point about one degree above the horizon, on a true west 
bearing. From this point, as from the narrow point of a funnel, 
streams of light resembling brightly illuminated vapor or smoke, 
appeared to be incessantly issuing, increasing in breadth as they 
proceeded, and darting with inconceivable velocity, such as the 
eye could scarcely keep pace with, upwards towards the zenith, 
and in the same easterly direction, which the former arch had 

The journal mentions that the general color of the light, 
was yellow, with an occasional orange and greenish tinge, 
and that the intensity of the light, while it lasted, which was 
for about three quarters of an hour, was not inferior to that 
of the moon when full. 

Notice of the late Aurora Borealis. 97 

Whether the phenomena of the aurora borealis are attrib- 
utable to electricity, or to the reflection, and refraction of 
the sun's rays, appears to be at this day, as questionable as 
ever. A writer in the London Philosophical Magazine and 
Journal, objects to the doctrine that they are electrical phe- 
nomena, and asks if they be such — 

" Why is their appearance confined to particular times of the 
year and of the night 1 

" Why are they always seen in a particular quarter of the 
heavens ? 

" Why do they in general assume the particular form and posi- 
tion observable, rather than any other ? 

" Why are they under all their various appearances different 
in color from the electric fluid in other cases ? 

" And, lastly, why is the motion of the electric fluid so dissim- 
ilar to that of streamers, the former being determined by known 
laws ; whereas the latter move to and fro laterally, without even 
a conjecture as to the cause of such motion ?" 

Considering these questions as unanswerable, the writer 
accounts for the phenomena as follows. 

"It is generally at or near the time of the equinoxes that those 
lights make their appearance in these latitudes, at which times 
the sun's rays would be tangents to the poles of the earth, were 
they not disturbed by the refractive power of the atmosphere. 
By the refraction, it is obvious that the rays will extend to a cer- 
tain point beyond the pole, on the side opposite to the sun, when 
they must of course fall on the immense accumulation of ice with- 
in the polar circle, which will be reflected with great brilliancy 
towards the darkened hemisphere, undergoing in their course 
another refraction, which bends them still more southward ; and 
as the atmosphere possesses also the power of reflecting light, 
those rays will finally fall back on the earth, and will at a certain 
angle and within certain limits be visible to its inhabitants." 

Upon this ground, the author thinks there will be no diffi- 
culty in accounting for the phenomena, and for their annual 
and diurnal times of appearance. He accounts for the mo- 
tion of the streamers, upon the supposition, that the bodies 
of ice, by which they are probably reflected are in motion, 
and says, 

" If a mass of ice, by rolling or falling, change its position sixty 
degrees, it is evident the streamer reflected bv it will in the same 
Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 13 

98 Notice of the late Aurora Borealis. 

time, move through a space equal to its distance from the surface 
which reflects it: this distance maybe several thousands of miles." 

Upon this supposition with regard to the aurora generally, 
the luminous arches are accounted for as follows. 

"Their form, position, motion, and time of appearing, all con- 
cur in pointing it out to be the light of the sun reflected by the 
spherical surface of the earth, and again reflected back on a dif- 
ferent part of it by the atmosphere. From the regular form of 
the arches, it is probable that the surface from which they were 
reflected was that of the ocean, which stretches in the direction 
in which the sun was during their appearance. But later in the 
evening, when that uniform surface had passed out of the line of 
direction by the rotation of the earth, and the icy regions of the 
north pole had intervened, the sun being reflected from a bro- 
ken unequal surface, the arch was also broken into streamers of 
the usual appearance. It will be obvious, that without the refrac- 
tive power of the atmosphere those phenomena could have no 
existence, because in that case the reflected rays of the sun could 
fall no where except in that space enlightened by his direct rays; 
but by refraction those rays falling upon the verge of the enlight- 
ened hemisphere, must, when reflected, be bent into the dark 

Whether this reasoning be correct or otherwise, is left for 
others to decide. The following extracts of letters on the 
subject, with which I have been favored, by the venerable 
E. A. Holyoke, M. D. LL. D. of Salem, Mass. whose years 
now number more than a century,* furnish interesting descrip- 
tions of these phenomena which occurred in old times, and 
mention facts which would rather favor the theory that they 
are attributable to electricity. 

Extract of a letter from Dr. Holyoke, dated Salem, Sept, 

19, 1827. 

About fifty or sixty years ago, I observed early in the evening, 
an unusual and remarkable luminous band, or stripe in the 
firmament, extending from about the N. N.W. point of the 
horizon, through the zenith, to the opposite E. S.E. point. 
The color was that of a white cloud. It continued station- 

* It is scarcely necessary to remark, except possibly to some of our readers in 
Europe, that Dr. Holyoke has been during a large part of his centurial term, 
distinguished as an eminent physician and friend of useful knowledge. — Ed. 

Notice of the late Aurora Borealis. 99 

ary for one or two hours, if I remember right, without the 
least alteration of place or color. 

The second which I saw, was some ten or fifteen years 
after the first. It occurred on Wednesday evening of the 
third week in July, but in what year I know not. It seemed 
to occupy the same place in the heavens as the former ; and 
I think it began to show itself early in the evening, before the 
twilight had fully shut in. The color similar to, but rather 
brighter than that of the first, and I well remember that its 
form was exactly like that of the area contained between two 
meridians, placed three or four degrees distant from each 
other ; the greatest breadth being in the zenith and termina- 
ting in the horizon, as meridians do at the poles, and its edges 
perfectly defined. It continued stationary all the evening. 
I would observe, that I do not recollect any light in the north 
accompanying either of these appearances, and if there had 
been any such, I think I should have remarked it. 

The phenomenon, of the 28th of August last, I did not 
see till thirty minutes after ten, and at that time the high- 
est part of the luminous band, I estimated to be eight or ten 
degrees south of the zenith ; the sides of the band nearly 
parallel ; the color of its fight more like that of the moon 
and much more brilliant than that of the two above mention- 
ed. I think it is remarkable that all these phenomena should 
occupy the same region in the heavens. 

But these appearances are not to be compared in point of 
beauty and magnificence, with some forms of the Aurora 
Borealis, of which it has been my good fortune to have been 
twice an admiring spectator. It is impossible for me to give 
you an adequate description of them, but as what I have 
said may have excited your curiosity, I will endeavor to de- 
scribe what I saw as nearly as I can. Imagine then, all that 
region of the northern heavens between the N. W. and E. 
N.E. covered with a sheet of light consisting of the four 
least refrangible rays, (for I saw no trace of the blue, and 
the green rays were very pale,) resting on, or proceeding 
from a black cloud in the horizon ; and this extensive surface 
all alive by the constant agitation of columns of different col- 
ored rays, starting upwards, vibrating, dancing, changing, 
coruscating every moment, till they arrived at the zenith, or 
rather four or five degrees south of it. There the columns 
which had risen perpendicularly, assumed a horizontal direc- 
tion, and a gyratory motion, and put on the appearance of 

100 Notice of the late Aurora Borealis. 

flames reverberated from the top of an oven, all in constant 
motion, sometimes the whole rapidly revolving in a spiral, 
forming altogether a scene exceedingly beautiful, magnifi- 
cent and sublime, of which it is not in my power to give a 
perfect description. 

The light of this aurora was so bright as to obscure that 
of the moon, then in the S.E. about two or three hours high, 
and about as many days after the full. I viewed this phe- 
nomenon for half an hour or more, which left such an im- 
pression on my mind, as I think I never shall forget. This 
exhibition, as I may call it, occurred about the year 1754 
or 1755. 

The second time I saw the like appearance was about the 

years . It very much resembled that above described, 

though the second was I think, alittle more south, than the first, 
and abounded more in red rays. I have some faint notion, that 
during the first exhibition, I heard the noise attending the 
rapid motions of the columns, though I cannot speak with 
any certainty, but I certainly have more than once, heard 
such rushings, during the vibrations of the aurora, as plainly, 
though not so audibly, as ever I did that of a rocket, which 
though fainter, it very much resembled. 

I recollect also, that once during an appearance of an 
aurora, I examined its effect upon the magnetic needle, and 
found it much agitated, more especially when there was a 
more than ordinary vibration of the meteor, but to what ex- 
tent, or to what number of degrees, I cannot say, but cer- 
tainly enough to determine, that the needle was much affec- 
ted by the aurorse. ****** 

Extract of another Letter from Dr. Holyoke, dated Salem, 
Sept. 26, 1827. 
********* * 

Since my last, of the 19th instant, I luckily fell in com- 
pany with a friend, Ichabod Tucker, Esq. a clerk of our su- 
preme court, and a respectable character, who informed 
me, that while he lived in Connecticut, near New Haven, in 
the month November or December, 1781, or in January, 
1782, he saw an exhibition of an aurora borealis, exactly 
similar to that second, which I gave you a description of, 
only that he took no notice of the absence of the blue col- 
ored rays. This he saw while walking about two miles, in 
a N. E. direction, so that he had half an hours time to 

Notice of the late Aurora Borealis. 101 

view it, which he did with great trepidation, being then 
about, fourteen years old, and having never seen an Aurora. 
But by his account, he heard the noise attending the shoot- 
ings and vibrations of the columns, more loud, and more 
frequent than I ever had, or had heard of, for he heard not 
only this rushing noise, which I as well as three or four of 
my other acquaintances have repeatedly done, but loud claps 
or snaps, of which he was so perfectly assured, that he told 
me, he should not hesitate to confirm by his oath, if neces- 
sary.* Query. — Does not this serve to confirm the notion, 
that these aurora? are modifications of electricity, or that at 
least, these dartings, and shootings, are an electrical ef- 
fect ? I think that these appearances, and the effect they 
have upon the magnetical needle, amount to demonstration, 
that the needle is affected by these aurorae. I once observ- 
ed myself, a very evident agitation, especially upon a 
brisk shooting of the meteors. The needle I made use 
of, was a very short and light one. If the noise attending 
these vibrations were thus audible, you will agree with me, 
that the aurora could not have been so far distant, as some 
of the European writers upon the subject, suppose they 
commonly are. — Since I wrote you, I have been informed 
by a gentleman in my neighborhood, who saw the second 
band, which I described as having occurred on Wednesday, 
the third week in July, without mentioning the year ; I can 
now certify, that it happened in the year 1769. 

We add the following parts of letters to the Editor and 
some extracts from the Phil. Mag. &c. for November last. 

From Professor Cleaveland. 

Brunswick, Oct. 6, 1827. 
My Dear Sir — The Aurora Borealis was so extensive on 
the nights of the 27th and 28th of August, and the phenom- 
ena have been so frequently described, that I shall mention 
those circumstances only, which were peculiarly interesting. 
On the evening of Tuesday, the 28th, about half past elev- 
en, a luminous bow or arch, extended from N.W. to S.E. its 
highest point being about 40° above the northern horizon. 
Below the bow, all was dark, with the exception of a few stars. 

* He tells me in further conversation on the subject, that the claps, or snaps 
which he heard, were most like the flapping of a vessels sails, when throwgt 
up in the wind. 

102 Notice of the late Aurora Borealis. 

From that part of the bow contained between the N. E. 
and E. numerous waves of light proceeded in rapid succes- 
sion to the zenith, where they soon disappeared, and were 
instantly succeeded by others, perfected similar. Their 
waves of light arose, successively, from various parts of the 
afore mentioned portion of the bow, and their apparent 
length, parallel to the horizon, varied from one to two 
yards. In some respects, they much resembled those lumin- 
ous flashes, which appear, when a charged Leyden jar is 
placed under the receiver of an Air pump, in a darkened 
room, and discharged by gradually removing the pressure 
of the atmosphere. The general appearance of these waves 
of light, while rapidly passing from this bow, to the zenith, re- 
minded me of that beautiful display of light in Hare's calori- 
motor, when the gas is on fire, and the plates a little elevated. 
These interesting phenomena continued about half an hour. 

On the evening of September 25th, about eight o'clock, 
there was another exhibition of light, which we must call an 
Aurora Australis* — A broad, well defined bow, or arch of 
light extended from S. E. to nearly N. W., its highest 
point being about 35° above the southern horizon. The 
light of this bow was dense, and very bright, especially near 
the south eastern limit. From various points of the convex 
side of the bow, columns of light arose, and proceeded to- 
wards the zenith. — During these appearances in the south, 
the sky in the north, and north east was free from light, ex- 
cepting that about midway between the horizon and zenith, 
there were a few feeble columns of light, which appeared to 
be insulated in the starry surface of the heavens. The 
light soon became much more diffuse, and extended, and so 
continued through the whole night. 

From Mr. Benjamin Lincoln, two Letters. 

Boston, Sept. 20, 1827. 

Dear Sir — In compliance with your request, I send you 
some account of the Aurora, as it appeared on the evening 
of the 28th of August — I being then on the bay of Fundy, 
in about lat. 45°, N. long. 66°, W. 

* You will not understand by this expression, Aurora Australia, that I in- 
tended to refer the light to the south pole, but only to say, that the luminous 
bow was nearer the southern horizon, than the zenith. 

Notice of the late Aurora Borealis. 103 

The wind blew fresh from the south west, the air was un- 
usually cold and piercing, and many small dark clouds were 
flying towards the N. E. According to the best of my re- 
collection, the aurora was first observed about 8 o'clock, at 
which time a small arch in the north, was feebly lighted, the 
light at first remaining quite uniform and steady. It grad- 
ually extended towards the east and west, rising higher, 
growing more brilliant and flickering, with occasional vivid 
flashes, from the north which reached the zenith, and at times 
a play of feeble colors, till between ten and eleven o'clock, 
when my attention was first fixed exclusively upon the aurora. 
At that time, the whole arch from east through north, to N. 
W. was brilliantly illuminated, the brightest spot all the time 
being in the north, and the next brightest nearly in the east. 
Several bright streams of light, following each other in quick 
succession, issued from the north, passed the zenith, and 
reached to within 30° of the horizon in the point south. At 
the same time, bright flashes came from the east passed to- 
wards the N. W. meeting and apparently crossing the light 
from the north. 

It should be borne in mind, that the aurora was very ac- 
tive throughout the whole of the arch before mentioned, to 
wit, from east to north west — these flashes from the north, 
and from the east were distinguished from the rest by their 
greater brilliancy. After this the light gradually diminished, 
and I left the deck without seeing the end of this interest- 
ing phenomenon. Yours most respectfully, 

Prof. Silliman. Benjamin Lincoln. 

Boston, Nov. 19th, 1827. 

Dear Sir — Since my last, I have heard of a fact which 
seems to me strongly to support the theory that the aurora 
borealis is an electrical phenomenon. I hope this may reach 
you in season, to be introduced into your paper on the Au- 
rora, should you think it a fact worth consideration. It was 
communicated to me, by Mr. Edmund Baylies, now of this 
city ; a gentleman, in the accuracy of whose observations, 
we may place implicit confidence. 

"In the year 1817," says Mr. Baylies, "on the nights 
of the 15th, and 16th of March, on the road from Stock- 
holm, to Tornea, I noticed Avith much interest, and atten- 
tion, the appearance and conduct of the Aurora Borealis. 
As these were noted down at the moment, I will give you 

104 JSotice of the late Aurora Borealis* 

an extract from my journal, relative thereto. ' Wind at N, 
W. clear and pleasant. The last two nights, enlivened by 
the aurora borealis. From time to J»e, a mist appeared to 
form for 30°, along the horizon, emitting rays of the most 
brilliant hues, till the whole heavens in that direction, beam- 
ed with light, clear and pale, as is frequently seen reflected 
by the sun, just after day-break.' " 

Mr. Baylies states further, that this mist extended from 
the horizon towards the zenith about ten or fifteen degrees 
— and that the flashes of light, which beamed from it, seem- 
ed to exhaust it — that it grew paler and thinner, and the 
light in the same proportion faded away, till both nearly dis- 
appeared — then the mist formed again, and again emitted 
this light. " This continued during the whole, or greater 
part of the nights observed." Yours respectfully, 

t< t> j? oi-it ' Benjamin Lincoln, 

lo Professor kiuiman. 

From Dr. Pliny Hayes. 

Canandaigua, Nov. 19th, 1827. 

Dear Sir — Understanding that you intend to notice, in 
your very valuable Journal, the extraordinary appearance of 
the Aurora Borealis, seen sometime since, I send you a few 
notes which I took at the time, in addition to those publish- 
ed in the Ontario Repository of September 5th, which I am 
informed you have in your possession. 

The account published in the Repository, was condensed 
as much as possible, and some particulars probably omitted. 

About the time that the arch broke up into columns, it 
seemed to be stationary, or rather to move back towards the 
north. Soon after it moved again to the south, apparently 
with a more rapid motion than ever, until it disappeared. 

When I first saw the arch in the north, its centre appeared 
to be a few degrees east of north. 

The divergent extremities of the waves of light, were to- 
wards the north. 

There was no wind and the evening was very cold. The 
earth was unusually dry, even for the season. 

The next day, (29th,) the sky was overcast with a sheet 
of horizontal clouds, apparently not very high, and dense 
enough to exclude the rays of the sun. Weather cool. In 
the evening the stars were partially visible. The 30th, the 
sun shone. The clouds were light, somewhat scattered. 

Notice of the late Aurora Borealis. 105 

and remarkably comoid — the temperature warm. The 31st, 
also warm. In the forenoon, clouds were visible, consis- 
ting of bars of whitish vapor, very regularly disposed, form- 
ing the mackerel back sky. About noon, a smart shower. 

On Sunday evening, September 9th, at 8 o'clock, I walk- 
ed out, and saw a considerable light in the north, rounded 
into a semi-eliptical form. It extended probably through 
ninety degrees of the horizon. It was not very well defined, 
but was rather darker in the centre near the horizon. In 
about five minutes, I saw, almost directly overhead, a light 
cloud hanging in the clear sky, apparently lower than clouds 
generally are, which I immediately recognized, as a frag- 
ment of the aurora. It moved gently to the west, and as it 
moved became more and more distinct, and better defined, 
putting on gradually the appearance of beams of light, hav- 
ing a southern inclination. Suddenly they became very 
straight, and well defined on their north side, as if I then saw 
all their northern sides in a line. Proceeding still west, and 
probably a little south, they seemed to lengthen, and de- 
scend towards the western horizon. Looking at them in 
this direction, I judged their deviation from a perpendicular, 
to the horizon to be from fifteen to eighteen degress. Pro- 
ceeding still farther west, they grew gradually shorter, and be- 
gan to open, and soon had the appearance of five or six col- 
umns, of about the same height, the northernmost standing 
near the horizon, and the rest a little higher and higher, 

forming a part of an arch ; thus \\m\l 

About the time, this disappeared, some scattered frag- 
ments of a more considerable arch, appeared a little north 
of the zenith. It soon became more distinct, and the part 
east of the meridian, although rather faint, was well formed. 
It seemed to consist of bars of light lying in this manner : 


The movement westward, and the wheeling motion were 
distinct, but not sufficiently so to enable me to estimate the 
rate of motion. It gradually approached and passed the 
zenith, becoming narrower, and of a more uniform breadth. 
When it had passed the zenith a little, it seemed to have col- 

Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 14 

106 Notice of the late Aurora Borealis. 

lected itself into two rolls forming a double arch, extending 
nearly across from one horizon to the other. The northern roll, 
was smaller than the southern ; but it was impossible to say, 
which (if either)' was the highest. They were not very dis- 
tinctly separate, but were considerably or very much blen- 
ded together, except about the middle of the arch. It be- 
came more obscure, and broke up into fragments more or 
less distinct. The western motion of these was perceptible, 
and by looking at one when about 20 or 25 degrees south 
of the zenith, I estimated its motion at four degrees in thirty 
two seconds. About this time, the moon rose among a few 
clouds in the east. 

Frequently, jets or columns, some apparently pretty 
near, darted up from the northern light, inclining constant- 
ly to the west, and becoming more distinctly narrow and 

The light in the north now (half past eight) seemed to be 
rising higher, and becoming more distinctly an arch. Its 
height from the northern horizon, I estimated at 16°. It was 
now pretty still; but presently bright jets began to start up all 
along its course. These continued to play very brilliant- 
ly for about half an hour. They commonly rose sud- 
denly, in bright clusters, sending some of the beams fre- 
quently as high as twenty-five or thirty degrees — and va- 
rying their appearance continually, being sometimes cloudy 
or obscure, and at others very bright and narrow. The 
coruscations, which had been little observed before, now be- 
came almost constant, and very beautiful. They seemed to 
consist of broad flashes of light, extending a great distance, 
or perhaps the whole breadth of the northern light, rising 
up very rapidly, and succeeding each other very closely, or 
as well as I could judge, at intervals of about half a se- 

The northern light rose no higher. The jets continued, 
but were less frequent, and less tall and bright. The corus- 
cations were still very perceptible, at 1 1 o'clock, when I re- 

The bases of the jets were sometimes below the horizon, 
sometimes a few degress above it, particularly in the north. 
The evening was cool, but not cold, as on the 28th August. 
The sky was at first clear. Some small clouds were seen in 
the east before the moon rose, and these gradually approach- 

Notice of the late Aurora Borealis. 1 07 

ed us. At first, no motion of the air could be discovered ; 
but in the latter part of the evening a breeze came up from 
the south east. The light of the moon, which was very 
bright, seemed to have no effect upon the northern light, ex- 
cept perhaps, to render it a little less luminous. 

I endeavored to ascertain the direction of the centre of 
the arch, as nearly as possible ; but this was difficult, partic- 
ularly as my horizon was not level, but inclined to the east. 
Judging, however, from the direction of the jets, it was 
about one degree east of the north star, which was then 
nearly two degress east of the pole, making the declination 
about three degrees. At this point the jets appeared to be 
erect, but declined more and more from the centre as they 
appeared further from it. 

(From the Paris Constitutionel.) 

" The learned Mr. Arago had the goodness to communicate to 
us the following note : — 

" The phenomenon which appeared on Tuesday the 25th, in the 
atmosphere was an Aurora Borealis. It announced itself as ear- 
ly as eight o'clock in the evening, by a very perceptible distur- 
bance of the horizontal needle's diurnal variations. At half 
past nine this disturbance was enormous ; but at that time lumin- 
ous spots showed themselves here and there, between the west, 
north west, and north north east. A few minutes afterwards, a 
luminous arch formed, which lasted only a few moments. Its 
culminating point coincided nearly with the magnedcal meridian. 
At eleven o'clock, the phenomenon was already considerably les- 
sened. During the whole duration of its appearance, the hori- 
zontal magnetical needle, and even the dipping needle changed 
their direction so frequently as scarce to allow the time requi- 
site for noting the observations. No Aurora Borealis has been 
visible at Paris these twenty years." 

{From the Journal des Debats.) 

" On the 8th September, a very beautiful Aurora Borealis was 
observed in the north west, from every part of Denmark, which 
is said to indicate an early rigorous winter. 

" The day before yesterday (wSept. 28th,) towards 1 1 o'clock at 
night, all the northern part of the sky appeared in a blaze. It 
was supposed that a vast fire had broken out, and that the flames 
were devouring part of the metropolis. The reflection was as 
strong, and the reddened atmosphere as fiery, as on the occasion 
of the great fire breaking out at the theatre of L'Ambi£ue 

1 08 Notice of the late Aurora Borealis. 

Comique. Several parties of firemen were running their fire 
engines, when it was ascertained that the fiery appearances af- 
fected only the celestial regions. The light continued for sev- 
all hours." 

Aurora Borealis. 

Gosport Observatory, Sept, 26, 1827. 

" At nine o'clock last evening a bright yellowlight appeared in 
the N. W. quarter, behind a low stationary cirrostratus cloud, 
and gradually extended from N. to W. N. W. : it continued to in- 
crease in altitude and width, and at ten had a brighter appear- 
ance than the strongest crepuscule that appears in this latitude 
in a clear sky, about the time of the summer solstice ; but nei- 
ther lucid columns of light nor coruscations yet presented them- 
selves. At half past ten the aurora had formed itself into a 
tolerably well defined arc of intense light, whose base exten- 
ded from N. to W. and at a quarter before eleven, perpendicu- 
lar lucid columns and vivid coruscations of this subtile fluid ap- 
peared in quick succession. So brilliant was the aurora at eleven, 
that the streamers reached eight or nine degrees higher than Pola- 
ris, and their apparent base was nearly horizontal with the star 
Beta in Ursa Major. At this time the coruscations, which appear- 
ed to spring up from a much greater northerly distance than the 
columns were, reached to the constellation Cassiopeia, which 
was nearly in the zenith. Soon after eleven, a column of light 
six degrees in width gradually rose from the position of the be- 
fore mentioned star, and when it had reached an altitude of sev- 
enty degrees, it changed from a light yellow to a blood-red col- 
or, which with the more elevated and vivid flashes that fre- 
quently reached twenty degrees south of the zenith, gave the 
aurora an awfully grand appearance, which it would be difficult 
to paint or express. This wide column remained perfect up- 
wards of an hour, alternately waving and increasing in brillian- 
cy, and ultimately passed through the gradation of colors, which 
is sometimes seen in the clouds near the horizon at sunset, as 
lake, purple, light crimson, &c.;' it became apparently stationary 
in the N. E. by E. point, and its eastern red edge was very 
well defined in the dark blue sky. Two more columns of light 
nearly similar in color and width, soon afterwards sprang up, one 
in due north, the other in N. W. and passed the zenith several 
degrees to the southward : these three large variegated columns 
presented a very grand appearance. 

" At half past eleven, the aurora suddenly changed to light 
red ; and from about this time till twelve o'clock the apex of 
the arc of light was within four or five degrees of the polar 
star ; consequently the hemisphere from N. E. by E. to S. W. 

Notice of the late Aurora Borealis. 1 09 

by W. was so brilliantly illuminated as to appear like the re- 
flection of a great conflagration, whilst the white coruscations 
which flashed through the atmosphere quicker than sheet light- 
ning in sultry summer evenings, formed whole but irregularly 
shaped arches from these points of the horizon through the ze- 
nith nearly. At one A. M. lofty perpendicular columns emana- 
ted from the aurora in the western point ; and at this time the 
northern hemisphere was filled with long and short sti earners va- 
rying in width and brilliancy, and often terminating in very point- 
ed forms. The coruscations from the N. E. and W. frequent- 
ly met each other in the zenith, and enlightened the scattered 
portions of cirrostratus even to within thirty degrees of the south- 
ern horizon ; and from the clouds being stationary, it is proba- 
ble that the atmosphere was serene and undisturbed in their vi- 
cinity. Soon after 2 A. M. the aurora grew faint and gradually 
disappeared. The lustre of the stars of the first, second, and 
third magnitude was very little diminished in any part of the 
heavens where the vivid flashes of the aurora intervened. The 
diffusion of the coruscations through the atmosphere caused 
twelve accensions or meteors to appear at intervals in different 
quarters, but most of them were to the northward ; and it also 
had the effect of increasing the temperatue of the external air 
near the ground half a degree between the hours of observa- 
tion, notwithstanding the wind blew fresh from the south. This 
was the finest aurora borealis that has been observed here during 
the last seventeen years. In sixteen hours after its disappear- 
ance, heavy rain and a gale of wind came on from S. E. (to 
which quarter the coruscations mostly tended ;) the common 
result here of the diffusion of a superabundance of electri- 
cal fluid in the lower atmosphere. An aurora borealis of extraor- 
dinary beauty is reported to have been seen all over Denmark in 
the night of the 8th instant, while the moon shone in full splen- 

The following remarks connected with this subject, are 
extracted from a paper by Prof. Hansteen, upon the influence 
of distant polar lights on the magnetic needle, translated and 
republished in the Philosophical Magazine and Annals of 
Philosophy, for November, 1827. 

" The properties of the polar lights seem to be inexplicable, if 
we assume that they are produced by electric currents in the atmos- 
phere. It seems indisputable that the direction of the rays of 
the aurora, like that of the dipping-needle, is determined by the 
attractive and repulsive powers of the terrestrial magnetism. 
The phenomenon of light seems to arise when the intensity of 
the terrestrial magnetism has risen to an unusual height, and this 

110 Notice of the late Aurora Borealis. 

intensity seems to be considerably weakened during the develop- 
ment of the polar light. But we have not known hitherto any such 
elastic fluids in the magnet, by the union of which, phenomena of 
light appear, as in the two opposite electricities. It is therefore 
still to be discovered what kind of substance it is which seems at 
once to partake of the properties of electricity and magnetism. 
In the Magazine for Naturvidenskaberne, vol. ii. pp. 98, 99, I 
have advanced the following hypothesis, as an attempt towards 
an explanation of the electro-magnetic phenomena. In the com- 
pleted galvanic circuit, the conductor is traversed in an oppo- 
site direction by the opposite electricities. Every positive ele- 
mentary particle strives to combine with a negative one ; thus 
united in pairs they neutralize each other, and their electric 
power disappears. But in this neutral state they perhaps ap- 
pear as elastic fluid elementary magnets, which so surround the 
surface of the polar wire that all north poles are turned on one 
side, and all south poles on another ; and the axis of every ele- 
mentary magnet is the tangent of the circular section of the con- 
ducting wire. Owing to the constantly aggregating quantity of 
electricity from both ends of the wire, and the expansive nature 
of electricity, these elementary magnets are forced out of the 
surface of the wire with a velocity equal perhaps to that of light 
itself. As long, therefore, as the circuit is uninterrupted, the 
wire is surrounded by a cylindrical atmosphere of neutralized 
molecules combined in pairs, each pair of which has a magnetic 
north pole and south pole, and a neutral point. 

E Let ABCD repre- 

ss TtS . itS >, sent a section of a 

TVS ~ — ' < <S. j x- -x 

c, ^ . — — >_^ -^ conducting wire tur- 

-/S\^ — " ~~"~" ^ \ ning towards the zinc 

/y ^ -" "2~ ~ ~"~"~ \" \\ \ pole of a galvanic 

/, / / / ^-^,'^^_C\ N \\ apparatus. Theneu- 

'// / / y y -~Z.~~~~^\ \\ s \\ tralized electric pairs 

'B ,' I i : ! ] ! t i-,„ , fjr. n f the 

ZF &c. 

,/'//,/ /// .^L \\ \\ i \ \ \ \ from all points of the 
Jl III) I i'rjf2t\\\\\ 111 IS circleABCD towards 

*\ \ \ W * 1 1 \ V Or > / ' ' ' ' the direction 

W\\ v c^#//V ( like the ; 

\ \ \ \ ^ ^-CT"" S y ' S / waves roun d a stone 

\\\\^s^ t ^./' /. ' / / dropt into the wa- 

\* »\ """" — . ;'!-—- "^ y / ter,) in a manner that 

\^ v^" -■-""' -^y / on imagining ones 

N*. , C^-* ^ self to be in the point 

jp Z, all the magnetic 

Notice of the late Aurora Borealis. Ill 

north poles N will lie to the left, and all the south poles S to the 
the right. By this means an innumerable quantity of circular 
elastic fluid magnets is formed round the conducting wire, in 
which magnets every point may be considered as the neutral, 
every north pole being immediately touched by a south pole, 
which impedes its free action. One might obtain such a circu- 
lar magnet without free poles by forming a connected steel ring, 
touching it at the same time in several points of the circumfer- 
ence with the south poles of different magnets, and then moving 
these poles round the ring from right to left. This steel ring 
would then have no perceptible poles ; but if it were any where 
broken in two, the surface of the fracture on the left hand would 
appear as a free south pole, and that on the right hand as a 
north pole. In this manner it may be easily explained, why the 
intensity decreases in the ratio of the simple distances from the 
axis of the conductor : for if the radius ZE is double the size of 
Ze, the same quantity of electricity which first filled the circle 
ef must afterwards fill the doubly large circle ESF, and conse- 
quently the intensity must decrease in the same proportion as 
the distance increases. Hence it may also be easily explained 
why the electro-magnetic action freely penetrates the conduc- 
ting bodies as well as the non conducting. For the un-neutrali- 
zed electric molecules excite in every body instantaneously the 
opposite state, and are therefore attached to the body ; but 
those that are neutralized cannot do it, and have therefore a per- 
fectly free passage. According to this hypothesis, magnetism 
would be nothing but neutralized electricity. It is therefore 
possible that the aurora consists of such neutralized pairs of mo- 
lecules which here, as in the completed electric circuit, obey the 
laws of attraction and repulsion of the magnet. I present this 
as a simple hypothesis, and confess that there still remain various 
obscurities not easily to be solved. But it is not to be expected 
that in such an obscure and difficult subject, the truth should be 
discovered in a first attempt." 

We had selected from the newspapers, a number of inter- 
esting and valuable statements respecting the appearance 
of the Aurora Borealis,* at different places, but we are obli- 
ged to omit them in order to make room for original com- 
munications on other subjects. Possibly some of them may 
be inserted, (should there be room) among the miscellanies. 

* Particularly that from the New Haven Journal, and from a Canandaigua 
Paper. — Ed. 

112 Botany of Illinois and Missouri. 

Art. XVII. — Contributions towards the Botany of the States 
of Illinois and Missouri ; by Lewis C. Beck, M. D. 

(Continued from Vol. XI, p. 182.) 

Cactus opuntia. Lin. 

Hab. Sandy banks of the Illinois river, near Fort Clark, 

Prunus pennsylvanica. Ait. 

Hab. Barrens, near St. Louis — May. 

Obs. Lower surface of the leaves somewhat pubescent, 
their shape usually oblong-oval. Pedicels about an inch long, 
smooth. This species can be readily distinguished from P. 
americana. Marshall. (P. nigra. Ait?) by the serratures 
of the leaves which in the latter are very sharp, — almost spi- 

Lythrum alatum. Pursh. 

Hab. Marshes, four miles west of St. Louis — June. 

Obs. Stem two to three feet high, winged. Leaves close- 
ly sessile, sub-cordate, ovate-oblong, opposite, and alternate. 
Flowers hexandrous, solitary, longer than the leaves, sessile 
or on very minute pedicels. 


Agrimonia eupatoria. Lin. 
Hab. Prairies near St. Louis, frequent — July. 

Agrimonia suaveolens. Pursh. 

Hab. Borders of marshes near St. Louis — July. 

Obs. Stem one and a half to two feet high, densely cov- 
ered with long brownish hairs. Leaves interruptedly pin- 
nate ; leafets thirteen to fifteen, with smaller ones interpos- 
ed, terminal one sessile, all more or less hairy beneath. 
Flowers small, and nearly sessile. 

Crata3gus crus-galli. Ait. 
Hab. Prairies near St. Louis — April. 

Crataegus coccinea. Lin.? 
Hab. Alluvions of the Illinois — April. The confusion 
which attends this genus leaves me in doubt concerning this 

Botany of Illinois and Missouri. 1 1 3 

Spiraea opulifolia. Lin. 
Hab. Bank of the Mississippi near St. Louis — May. 

Spiraea aruncus. 

americana. Pursh. 
Hab. Banks of the Merrimack river, Missouri — June. 
Obs. Stem three to four feet high. Flowers small, her- 
maphrodite. Leaves triply pinnate ; leafets ovate, acumi- 
nate, pubescent on the under surface. 

Gillenia stipulacea. Nutt. 
Hab. Hills near Potosi, Missouri — June. 


Rosa parviflora. Ehrh. 
Rosa Carolina. Lin. 
Both species are common on the prairies near St. Louis, 
and flower in June. 

Rosa rubifolia. Brown in Hort. Kew. 

Fruit subglobose and with the peduncles glandular-hispid. 
Stem smooth. Prickles solitary, short, uncinate. Leaves 
petioled, ternate ; leafets ovate, acute, serrate, glabrous 
above, white-downy beneath. Calyx with ovate, acute or 
acuminate segments, which are covered with viscid hairs. 
Flowers corymbose. Petals large, cuneate, white, pink 
and red. 

Obs. A very branching shrub, from six to eight feet high, 
common on the prairies near St. Louis. I have sometimes 
seen the bushes assume a conical form, and completely cov- 
ered with flowers. The color of the petals when they are 
first unfolded is white, this in a few days is changed to pink, 
and before the end of the flowering season this last is again 
changed to a deep red. Hence Mr. Bradbury who consid- 
ered it a new species proposed the name of mutabilis. But 
it is undoubtedly R. rubifolia. It flowers from June to August. 

Rubus trivialis. Lin. 
Rubus villosus. Ait. 
Both species are common on the barrens, near St. Louis — 

Geum album. Willd. 
Geum virginianum. Lin. 
Both found on the banks of the Mississippi, near St. Louis 
— June. 

Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 15 

114 Botany of Illinois and Missouri. 

Potentilla argentea. Lin. 
Potentilla simplex. Mich. 
Potentilla canadensis. Lin. 
Potentilla norwegica. Lin. 
Hab. Prairies near St. Louis — April and May. 

Potentilla supina. Lin. 

Obs. Stem decumbent, dichotomous, pubescent. Leaves 
pinnate ; leafets three to five pairs, with a terminal one, 
somewhat oval, incisely dentate, a little hairy. Peduncles 
solitary, an inch or more in length, with a single flower. Pe- 
tals about as long as the calyx. 

Hab. Inundated banks of the Mississippi at St. Louis 
and also near Herculaneum — May — June. 

Fragaria virginiana. Lin. 
Hab. On the prairies of Illinois and Missouri, frequent — 
April. Fruit smaller than in more northern latitudes. 


Helianthemum canadense. Mich. 
Hab. Sandy prairies near St. Louis — June. 

Meconopsis petiolata. De Cand. 
Stylophorum petiolatum. Nutt. 
Hab. Banks of creeks, Illinois and Indiana — May. 

Sanguinaria canadensis. Lin. 
Hab. Banks of the Illinois river, from its mouth to Fort 
Clark, frequent — March — April. 

Podophyllum peltatum. Lin. 
Hab. Shady situations near St. Louis — April. 


Delphinium tricome. Mich. 
Obs. Stem ten to twelve inches high. Leaves five-part- 
ed ; lobes three-cleft, linear. Spur a little longer than the 
flower, which is bluish-white. 

Hab. Prairies near St. Louis and Fort Clark, on the Il- 
linois — April. 

Aquilegia canadensis. Lin. 
Hab. Rocky banks of the Mississippi and Illinois — April. 

Botany of Illinois and Missouri. JL15 

Hypericum maculatum. Walt. 
Hab 5 Prairies near St. Louis — June. 

Hypericum perforatum. Lin. 
Hypericum parviflorum. Lin. 
Hab. Both common on the prairies near St. Louis — July. 

Hypericum rosmarinifolium. Ell. 

Obs. Stem, terete, somewhate angled, colored. Leaves 
opposite, linear-lanceolate, shining, paler on the under sur- 
face, obtuse, but terminated by a short mucronate point, 
margin revolute and somewhat undulated. Flowers, nu- 
merous, in a dichotomous terminal corymb. Styles three, 
generally united. 

A shrub from three to four feet hight, found on the low 
grounds near St. Louis. 


Porcelia triloba. Pursh. 
Hab. Banks of the Illinois, and Mississippi, frequent— 

Clematis virginiana. Lin. 
Hab. High grounds near the mouth of the Missouri — 

Clematis reticulata. Walt. 
Hab. Banks of the Riv. des Peres, near St. Louis. My 
specimens agree with the very accurate description of this 
species, given by Dr. Elliott, in his sketch of the Botany of 
South Carolina, and Georgia. Its coriaceous and distinctly 
reticulated leaves sufficiently distinguish it from the allied 

Anemone terella. Pursh. 
Hab. Low prairies on the Illinois — March. 

Anemone virginiana. Lin. 
Hab. Shady situations on the banks of the Merrimack, 
and Missouri rivers — May. 

Anemone pennsylvanica. Lin. 
Anemone thalictroides. Lin. 
Both common in various parts of Illinois, and Missouri — 

Hydrastis canadensis. Lin. 
Hab. Banks of the Illinois river — April. 

1 16 Botany of Illinois and Missouri. 

Caltha palustris. Lin. 
Hab. Swamps in Illinois, and Missouri — April. 

Hepatica triloba. Wild. 
Hab. Banks of the Illinois and Mississippi, common — 

Ranunculus fluviatilis. Lin. 
Hab. Ponds near Herculaneum, Missouri — May — June, 

Ranunculus abortivus. Lin. 
Ranunculus fascicularis. Muhl. 
Hab. Inundated banks of the Mississippi and Illinois — 

Ranunculus N. S. ? 

R. foliis omnibus radicalibus, pubescentibus, petiolatis, 
3 — 5 sectis ; scapo villoso, unifloro, foliis longiore ; calyce 
persistente ; petalis oblongo-ovatis. 

Obs. Root, fibrous and fasciculated. Leaves all radi- 
cal, of the length of the scape, sometimes whitish pubes- 
cent on the under surfaces. Scape one flowered, villous. 
Plant from one half to two inches high. It closely resem- 
bles R. collinus of Robert Brown, as described in De Can- 
dolle's Prodromus ; but I have not the means of com- 

Hab. Wet Prairies near Fort Clark, on the Illinois — 

Brasenia peltata. Willd. 

Hab. Ponds four miles west of St. Louis — June. 


Teucrium canadense. Lin. 
Hab. Prairies near St. Louis— June, July. My wes- 
tern specimens undoubtedly belong to this species, the leaves 
being ovate-lanceolate, but the bracts are very little longer 
than the calyx. This species, however, is most probably not 
distinct from the T. virginicum. 

Mentha canadensis. Lin. 
Hab. Banks of the Mississippi, June. Identical with 
M. borealis of Michaux. 

Isanthus coeruleus. Mich. 
Hab. Prairies near St. Louis — August, 

Botany of Illinois and Missouri. 117 

Hyssopus nepetoides. Willd. 
Hab. Banks of the Mississippi, at St. Louis — June. 

Stachys aspera. Mich. 
Hab. Alluvions of the Mississippi — July. 
Obs. Plant nearly smooth except the angles of the stem, 
which are retrosely-hispid. 

Pycnanthemum linifolium. Pursh. 
Hab. Prairies near St. Louis — July. 

Pycnanthemum pilosum. Nutt. 

P. foliis sessilibus, lanceolatis, subtus tomentosis, obsolete 
dentatis ; capitulis magnis, terminalibus ; bracteis lanceolato- 
ovatis, cano-tomentosis. 

Stem eighteen to twenty inches high, pilose, sparingly 
branched at the summit. Leaves lanceolate, pilose on the 
under side, prominently veined, obscurely denticulate. Bracts 
of the length of the calyx, which is also whitish pubescent. 
Heads larger than in P. lanceolatum. 

Hab. Prairies and barrens. St. Louis — June. 

Dracocephalum virginianum. Lin. 
Hab. Prairies near St. Louis — July. Entirely resembling 
the specimens, from the shores of lakes Erie, and Ontario. 

Prunella pennsylvanica. Willd. 
Hab. Prairies, Illinois and Missouri, frequent — June. 

Scutellaria lateriflora. Lin. 
Hab. Banks of the Mississippi, at St. Louis — July. 

Scutellaria parvula. Mich. ? 
Obs. Stem simple, four to six inches high, pubescent 
above, and on the veins beneath, lower ones petioled and 
subcordate. Flowers solitary, or in pairs, axillary, small. S. 
ambigua. P missouriensis Torrey in Lye. Ann. ? 

Scutellaria versicolor. Nutt. 
Hab. Prairies near St. Louis — July. 

Scutellaria canescens. Nutt. 
Hab. In similar situations with the last — July. 


Phryma leptospermia. Lin. 

1 i $ Botany of Illinois and Missouri. 

Hab. Alluvions of the Mississippi, opposite to St. Louis 
— July. 

Verbena hastata. Lin. 
Hab. Road sides in prairies — June. 

Verbena urticifolia. Lin. 
Hab. In similar situations — July. 

Verbena angustifolia. Mich. 

Hab. Prairies near St. Louis, also in the mine district — 

Verbena stricta. Vent. 

Hab, Barrens near St. Louis — July. 

Obs. My specimens agree with the descriptions of this 
species, except that the leaves are oval or ovate, and not obo- 

Verbena lanceolata. 

V. erecta, hirsuta; foliis lanceolatis, acutiusculis, basi at- 
tenuatis, subsessilibus, inciso-serratis ; spica terminale, stricta, 
imbricata ; bracteis lanceolatis, calyce superantibus. 

Stem simple, two to three feet high, stifly erect, hairy. 
Leaves three to four inches long, about an inch in breadth, 
crowded together, somewhat acute, coriaceous, much atten- 
uated at base, subsessile. Spike simple, terminal, dense 
flowered, imbricate. Flowers small, blue. Bracts narrow- 
lanceolate, acute, longer than the calyx. Resembles V. 
Stricta in habit. 

Hab. Near St. Louis — July. 

Verbena Aubletia. Jacq. 
Hab. Rocky banks of the Mississippi at St. Louis — May. 

Verbena bracteosa. Mich. ? 

V. decumbens hirsutus; foliis laciniatis, inferioribus pe- 
tiolatis ; bracteis linearibus, longissimis, patentibus. 

Obs. I am somewhat in doubt concerning this plant. 
Its general resemblance to V. aubletia, induced me to think 
that it was V. pennatifida of Nuttall, {Jour Amer. Acad. vol. 
II. p. 123 ;) but the teeth of the calyx, are not setaceous as 
in that species. The flowers are small, closely aggregated 
together in a terminal spike and almost concealed by the long 
hirsute bracts. 

Hab. Beaten grounds near St. Louis — June. 

Bignonia radicans. Lin. 
Hab. Low banks of the Mississippi, two miles above St. 
Louis, twining about trees — June. 

Botany of Illinois and Missouri. 119 

Ruellia strepens. Lin. 
Hab. Banks of the Mississippi — May. 

Ruellia ciliosa. Pursh. 

Obs. Stem erect, hairy. Leaves sessile, ovate, with long 
whitish hairs on the margin and nerves. Teeth of the calyx 
about a third as long as the tube of the corolla. 

Hab. With the last. 

Buchnera Americana. Lin. 
Hab. Prairies near St. Louis — July. 

Collinsia verna. Nutt. 
Hab. Wet Prairies of Illinois and Indiana, frequent — 

Gerardia tenuifolia. Vahl. 
Hab. Banks of the Missouri near St. Charles — June. 

Gerardia quercifolia. Pursh.? 
Obs. Leaves all sinuate-pinnatifid ; teeth of the calyx 
longer and narrower than in the eastern specimens. 
Hab. Prairies, St. Louis — July. 

Pedicularis gladiata. Mich. 
Hab. Barrens near St. Louis — April. 

Pedicularis canadensis. Lin. 
Hab. With the last, and also on sandy prairies in Illi- 
nois — April. 

Mimulus ringens. Lin. 
Hab. Inundated banks of the Mississippi, common — 

Martynia proboscidea. Willd. 
Hab. Rocky banks of the Mississippi at St. Louis. 

Euchroma coccinea. Nutt. 
Hab. Wet prairies west of St. Louis, frequent — May. 

Orobanche uniflora. Lin. 
Hab. Roots of trees on the banks of the Illinois, rare — 

Pentstemon pubescens. Lin. 
Hab. Prairies, St. Louis — April and May. 

120 Botany of Illinois and Missouri, 

Pentstemon Nuttallii.* 

P. glaberrima ; foliis coriaceis, ovato-lanceolatis, denticu- 
latis, subamplexicaulibus ; floribus paniculatis ; calycis folio- 
lis ovatis acuminatis ; filamento sterili apice barbato ; anthe- 
ris glabris. 

Stem two to three feet high, round, very smooth, almost 
polished, stifly erect, simple. Leaves three to five inches 
long, varying from ovate to lanceolate, acuminate, coriaceous 
somewhat glaucous, subclasping. Flowers panicled ; pedun- 
cles opposite, three to five flowered. Sterile filament densely 
bearded on the under side about half its length. Anthers 
smooth, as in P. pubescens. Leafets of the calyx ovate or 
oval, with a long acuminate point. Distinguished from P. 
erianthera of Nuttall, by its smooth anthers. 


Draba caroliniana. Walt. 
Hab. Sides of mounds near St. Louis — May. 

Draba arabisans. Mich. 
Obs. Stem three to four inches high, leafy. Leaves lan- 
ceolate-ovate, sparingly dentate. 

Hab. In similar situations with the last. 

Capsella bursa-pastoris. De Cand. 
Hab. On the prairies in Illinois and Missouri, common — 

Lepidium virginicum. Lin. 
Hab. Mounds near St. Louis — June. 


Dentaria laciniata. Lin. 
Hab. Wet prairies on the Illinois, near Fort Clark — April. 

Cardamine virginica. Lin. 
Hab. Banks of small streams near St. Louis. 

Sisymbrium canescens. Nutt. 
Hab. Banks of the Mississippi, at St. Louis. Two other 
plants apparently belonging to this genus, I am unable to de- 
termine for the want of perfect specimens. 

Arabis rhomboidea. Pers. 
Arabis falcata. Mich. 
Hab. Both found on the rocky banks of the Mississippi. 

Reply to Mr. Barnes on Magnetic Polarity. 121 


Lobelia pallida. Muhl. 
Lobelia claytoniana. Mich. 
Hab. Prairies, Missouri. 

Passiflora lutea. Lin. 
Twining about trees two miles west of St. Louis, Miss. 
Agreeing in every respect with specimens from Georgia. 


Geranium maculatum. Lin. 
Hab. Wet prairies on the Illinois — April. 

Geranium carolinianum. Lin. 
Hab. Road sides near St. Louis. 

Schrankia uncinata. Lin. 
Hab. Siliceous hills near Potosi, Missouri, common — 


Sida spinosa. Lin. 
Malva rotundifolia. Lin. 
Hab. Both common on road sides and beaten grounds, 
near St. Louis. 

(To be continued.) 

Art. XVIII. — Remarks on Mr. Barnes" 1 Notice respecting 
Magnetic Polarity ; by a Surveyor. 

to professor silliman. 

In the 12th volume of your valuable Journal I offered some 
remarks under the signature of a Surveyor, upon Prof. Ea- 
ton's proposed improvement in the manufacture of compass 
needles. These remarks were made I trust in a becoming 
spirit — dictated as they were by a desire to promote the 
great cause of truth, and to prevent at least the rash adop- 
tion of suggestions, which I conceived would be of injury 
to a respectable portion of the community. That I did not 
appear under my own proper name, was not that I feared 
responsibility, but because every purpose would be answered 

Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 16 

122 Reply to Mr. Barnes on Magnetic Polarity. 

by the method which I employed. Besides, as the objec- 
tions which I urged are to be found in every standard trea- 
tise on magnetism, I did not expect any credit for their mere 

Under these circumstances I was somewhat surprised that 
Mr. Barnes, in the " Notice," published in your last num- 
ber, should have pronounced with so much boldness in favor 
of Mr. Eaton's proposed improvement. Above all I was 
surprised that he should have attributed my remarks to im- 
proper motives, when I venture to assert that no part of 
them will warrant such an inference. 

After the positive declaration with which the ' notice 1 is 
prefaced, I was prepared to find a detail of conclusive ar- 
guments, or accurate experiments in its support. But 
strange as it may appear, there is not a single fact or experi- 
ment relating to the main question in dispute ; viz. — Wheth- 
er tipping the ends of a compass needle with brass, does or 
does not affect its directive force ? We have, it is true the 
author's assertion, " that the fitful variation of the compass 
is caused by the magnetism of the card," for which Mr. Ea- 
ton has proposed a " simple and efficient remedy." Wheth- 
er this assertion is a sufficient answer to my former remarks, 
is not for me to determine. The proposed improvement 
and the objections to it are now fully before the public, and 
I shall cheerfully abide their decision. In the mean time, 
however, I can hardly suppose that Mr. Patten will risk the 
reputation which he has acquired as an artist, by sending 
forth instruments, which to say the least, carry with them the 
evidence of imperfection. 

I cannot omit the present opportunity, of making a few 
observations upon the remaining part of Mr. Barnes' pa- 
per ; and although he has so freely pronounced upon the mo- 
tives which actuated me, I shall be content with inquiring 
into the merits of the experiments and results which he has 

We are told by Mr. Barnes that " Mr. S. Dodge of the 
western High School of Rochester, took the (iron ?*) win- 
dow bar which lay near it," (the compass needle,) " and pla- 
cing it perpendicularly found that the lower end was a north 
pole. He inverted the bar, and was surprised to find the 
same result, that is the poles were instantly changed by in- 

* This word and its annexed (?) were inserted by the editor. 

Reply to Mr. Barnes on Magnetic Polarity. 123 

verting the bar." The experiments were repeated by Mr. 
Barnes with the same results. 

Now surprising as these results may have appeared to 
these gentlemen, they were first made known about the year 
1600, and have been distinctly stated in almost every work 
on magnetism since that time. Mr. Barnes indeed appears 
to have been, in part, aware of this, as he says — " Dr. Gilbert 
has mentioned the fact that opposite ends of an iron bar 
equally affect the magnet, and in the same way, and he ac- 
counts for the fact, by supposing that the earth magnetizes 
the bar instantaneously." But still the whole subject is to 
him a mystery, as is evident from the following questions, 
which he gravely propounds — viz. " Is then the common re- 
mark, in the books, that a bar becomes magnetic by long 
standing in a vertical position strictly true ? And will not 
any such bar instantly change its polarity by being inver- 
ted r 

In answer to these questions, I would remark, that the dif- 
ference depends wholly upon the kind of bar employed. A 
bar of hard iron or steel, like a bar of soft iron, when held 
in a vertical position, becomes magnetized by the influence of 
the earth. But in the bar of soft iron, the magnetism is im- 
pressed instantaneously ; — in the bar of hard iron or steel, 
time is necessary for its development. In the bar of soft iron, 
the magnetism is transient ; in the bar of hard iron, it is per- 
manent. In the bar of soft iron, therefore, a change of po- 
sition produces an instantaneous change in polarity ; — in 
the bar of hard iron, a change of poles would require the 
same time that was necessary to render it magnetic. If 
Mr. Barnes is still in doubt upon these points I would refer 
him to Biofs Traite Precis, third edition, vol. 2d, pp. 8th 
and 9th. Cavallo's Philosophy, second American edition, 
vol. 2d, pp. 279 and 280, and indeed to almost any work in 
which magnetism is treated of. 

The " Notice 1 ' is chiefly made up of experiments to ascer- 
tain what is denominated the " neutral point, or medium be- 
tween polarities directly opposite.'" From the manner in 
which their result is announced, I should infer that the author 
was not aware, that several years since, Mr. Barlow in his 
researches upon the method of correcting the local varia- 
tion of a ship's compass, ascertained the fact — that in every 
mass of iron there is a plane of no attraction — a plane, in 
which a compass being placed, the iron has no effect upon 

1 24 Analysis of the Pittsburgh Mineral Spring. 

the needle. It was also satisfactorily settled by the experi- 
ment of Mr. Barlow and others, that this plane cuts the ho- 
rizon in a line due east and west, and to which it inclines 
at an angle, which in all parts of the earth, is the comple- 
ment of the dip. Now supposing Mr. Barnes' experiments 
to have been conducted with perfect accuracy, and allowing, 
what is very questionable, that they are susceptible of per- 
fect accuracy — he has only ascertained a fact which any 
person might have learned by a bare inspection of the dip- 
ping needle. For as has been remarked, this line of no at- 
traction, or the " neutral point" as it is denominated in the 
" Notice," is in all cases the complement of the dip. 
Whether Mr. Barnes is correct in stating the dip at New 
York to be 67| degress, (which is the complement of 22i,) 
observers in that city, will either confirm or correct. 

It is not intended by any thing that has been said to un- 
derate in the slightest degree, the importance of experi- 
ment, for I am well aware that a single new fact thus ascer- 
tained, is of more importance to the cause of science, than a 
score of crude speculations. Yet it is difficult to determine 
how much credit will be awarded to an experimenter who 
announces a result as "curious and interesting," without a 
knowledge of what has previously been done by others. 

A Surveyor. 

Art. XIX. — A Chemical Analysis of the Pittsburgh Mineral 
Spring; by William Meade, M. D. 


Sir — A mineral spring having been lately discovered on 
the estate of J. S. Scully, Esq. near Pittsburgh, in the state 
of Pennsylvania, which had attracted considerable attention, 
I was favored by the proprietor with a few bottles of the 
water carefully put up, with a request that I would make 
a Chemical Analysis of it, with some observations on its medi- 
cinal qualities. The result of this analysis, I now take 
the liberty of sending to you, together with some extracts 
from the remarks which I have made on the general proper- 
ties of a class of mineral waters, which are ranked as chaly- 
beates, and which are not uncommon in this country, though 
not generally known, or their valuable properties fully appreci- 

Analysis of the Pittsburgh Mineral Spring. 1 25 

ated. If you think the subject of any interest to the public, 
or that such an inquiry is within the limits of those branches 
of science, to which your useful Journal is appropriated, 
this communication is perfectly at your service. 
I am sir, very respectfully yours, 

W. Meade. 

The Pittsburgh Mineral Spring is pleasantly situated on 
the farm of John S. Scully, Esq. in St. Clair township, Al- 
leghany county, four miles south west of the city of Pitts- 
burgh, and two miles south of the Ohio river. It issues 
from the fissures of a rock, on the side of a small hill, and 
discharges about a gallon of water per minute, which is con- 
veyed through a tunnel into a reservoir, from which it is 
pumped to supply the bath house. The water in the spring, 
when undisturbed for a few hours, is covered with a thin 
white pellicle, which after some time assumes an iridescent 
appearance. It then falls to the bottom, and is renewed, if 
the water be not disturbed, as may be more particularly ob- 
served every morning. 

When the water is first taken from the spring, its appear- 
ance in a glass is perfectly clear ; its taste is lively and rather 
pungent, with a peculiar ferruginous flavour, and an odour 
which has some resemblance to the scouring of a gun bar- 
rel, and which is easily recognized as arising from an impreg- 
nation of sulphuretted hydrogen gas. 

If the water is allowed to remain for some hours in a 
glass, it loses, in some degree, its transparency, as well as its 
lively and pungent taste ; numerous air bubbles are extracted 
from it, and a light deposit takes place on the inside of the 
glass, which renders it pellucid. Vessels which are constant- 
ly used become lined with an ochry incrustation which is 
with difficulty removed, and the bottom and sides of the 
well, as well as those substances over which the water flows, 
contain a sediment of the same nature. 

The temperature of the spring is nearly the same at all 
seasons of the year. In the month of August, when the 
atmosphere was as high as 85 of Fahrenheit, the tempera- 
ture of the water was only 54. 

The specific gravity of the water differs little from the 
purest water. When compared with distilled water it is as 
1002 to 1000. 

Having made these preliminary remarks on the external 

126 Analysis of the Pittsburgh Mineral Spring. 

qualities of the spring, I proceed to an experimental inquiry 
into its chemical properties. 


Examination of the contents of the water by tests and 

Expkr. 1, Litmus paper when dipped into the water fresh 
from the spring has its color immediately changed from blue 
to red, but this color is fugacious ; nor will the water when 
boiled produce any such effect, a decisive proof that this 
change was produced by the presence of uncombined car- 
bonic acid gas, and not by a fixed acid. 

2. Paper stained with tumeric is not changed in color by 
this water, nor could it well be expected as the carbonic acid 
gas would repress the effect of this test. 

3. Lime water produces an immediate turbidness and pre- 
cipitation when added to this water, yet a variety of circum- 
stances are to be attended to in the application of this test. 
The usual directions which are given are that the lime water 
shall be added to it in equal quantity. This, however 
if the mineral water is saturated with carbonic acid, as in 
the case of the Ballston water, is too much, and if the 
water contains but little carbonic acid, it is not sufficient to 
decompose the same water ; in order therefore to ensure a 
complete and permanent precipitation of the lime, it requires 
four cubic inches of the water of this spring to decompose 
three cubic inches of lime water. It is evident, therefore, 
that the greater the quantity of carbonic acid gas, which is 
contained in a mineral water, the less of that water is re- 
quired to produce the requisite change, so that by observing 
this rule, an experienced chemist can form a tolerable accu- 
rate judgment of the quantity of carbonic acid contained 
in any mineral water. 

4. Tincture of galls, when poured into a glass of this water 
strikes an immediate purple color, which after standing for 
some time, increases in intensity, but no such change takes 
place if the water has been previously boiled. 

5. Prussiat of potash. — This test produces an immediate 
change in the color of the water ; it first becomes green, 
and after standing for some hours assumes a blue color. 

Analysis of the Pittsburgh Mineral Spring. 127 

6. Nitrat of silver. — When a few drops of this test are ad- 
ded to a glass of this water, a dense white flocculent precipi- 
tate is thrown down, which after some time changes to a light 
purple color. 

7. Acetate of lead, throws down an immediate dense white 
precipitate, the color of which is rendered a shade darker 
when allowed to stand in the glass for a few hours. This 
precipitate is partly dissolved when a few drops of nitric 
acid are poured on it, which shows that a small quantity of 
sulphuric, as well as muriatic acid, is present ; muriat of 
lead being soluble, while the sulphate is perfectly insoluble 
in any acid. 

8. Muriat of Barytes, produces a white cloud when per- 
mitted to stand for some time, a precipitate falls which is not 
soluble in nitric acid. 

9. Oxalat of Ammonia, produces a slight turbidness but 
scarcely any precipitate. 

10. Liquid or pure ammonia, has no effect on the water either 
when fresh from the spring or when concentrated by boiling. 

1 1 . Carbonat of potash, does not disturb the transparency 
of the water. 

1 2. Sulphuric acid. — This acid produces no change. 


Inferences to be drawn from the above experiments. 

If it was only required to determine the quality of this 
water, and the nature of the ingredients, these experiments 
would be nearly sufficient ; but no chemical investigation 
will be deemed satisfactory at present which does not exhi- 
bit the exact proportions of the different ingredients. Be- 
fore however we proceed farther in the investigation, the use 
of tests and reagents become an important guide ; by their 
means future experiments may be conducted with more pre- 
cision, and when we proceed to evaporation, much time 
and labour are spared in looking for those substances which 
we had previously ascertained by reagents not to be present. 
Thus having discovered iron by experiments 4 and 5 and 
that it is held in solution bv carbonic acid, it was in vain te> 

128 Analysis of the Pittsburgh Mineral Spring, 

look for any metallic salt, and we have only to determine 
the quantity of iron which is thus suspended. 

Experiments 1 and 3 have shown the presence of a con- 
siderable quantity of carbonic acid gas. 

Experiments 1 and 4 show that the iron is held in solution 
by this gas. 

Experiments 6 and 7 demonstrate the presence of muriate 
acid combined with a base. 

Experiments 8 and 9 shew the presence of a small quanti- 
ty of sulphuric acid and of lime. 

It now remains to confirm these, by evaporation and more 
direct experiments, as well as to determine the quantity 
of each substance in a given quantity of water. 


Examination of the gaseous contents. 

As many of the most important qualities of mineral wa- 
ters arise from the gas with which they are impregnated, 
there is no part of their analysis which requires more atten- 
tion. In order to determine the quantity of this gas I pro- 
ceeded in the manner which I have pointed out in my essay 
on the mineral waters of Ballston and Saratoga, and which 
I have uniformly found successful. A plate of the instru- 
ment which I used on those occasions will be found in the 
publication alluded to. It consists of a tin vessel, calculated 
to hold one quart of water. A covering was soldered on it, and 
no opening left except one at the top, to which was adapted a 
small tube about half an inch long, and one third of an inch 
in diameter. A graduated decanter was connected with 
this which was filled with hot water. Heat was then ap- 
plied to the tin vessel when the gas which was extricated 
from one quart of water was collected in the glass vessel 
graduated into cubic inches. I found that the whole of the 
gas which was extricated from one quart of the water 
amounted to eighteen cubic inches, which, when passed 
through lime water, was entirely taken up by it, so that it 
consisted entirely of carbonic acid gas. Some surprise may 
be excited at finding so small a quantity of carbonic acid in 
this water, when we compare it with the waters of Saratoga 
and Ballston, but let it be recollected that they have no re- 
semblance ; and if we refer to the analysis of the most eel- 

Analysis of the Pittsburgh Mineral Sprhig. 129 

ebrated chalybeates in Europe, and even in this country, 
none of them are stated to contain more, and few of them 
so much. It is even probable that if this water were ex- 
amined when immediately taken from the spring, it would 
be found to contain more of this gas. 


Examination of the contents of the Pittsburgh Mineral 
Spring by Evaporation. 

The experiments which have already been detailed throw 
great light on the qualities of this water, and enable the ex- 
perienced chemist to decide upon the nature, but not on the 
quantity of the different substances with which it is impreg- 
nated. To make an accurate estimate of these I proceeded 
to evaporate one quart of water in a glazed China vessel, 
placed in a sand bath over a furnace. Heat was gradually 
applied, but never allowed to exceed 180 or 200 of Fahren- 
heit, when the gas began to arise, the water became slightly 
turbid, and a light pellicle appeared on its surface, which 
gradually subsided to the bottom of the vessel ; and when 
the water was evaporated to dryness, the whole of the resi- 
duum or solid contents which was collected, amounted to 4 
grains. This powder when exposed to the atmosphere for 
several days, showed no signs of deliquescence, nor was it 
sensibly increased in weight. In order to determine the 
component parts of these four grains, I proceeded in the fol- 
lowing manner. I poured over it, in a small phial bottle, 
about half an ounce of alcohol of the specific gravity .827 
and shook it repeatedly for twenty four hours ; then filtered 
it carefully, when I found that it had lost in weight only half 
a grain, which was the whole that the alcohol had taken up. 
The residue now reduced to three and a half grains, was 
treated with an ounce of pure distilled water, and having 
left it sufficiently long to complete the solution of whatever 
was soluble in pure water, I again filtered it carefully, and 
dried the residuum which was now reduced to one and a 
half grains. 

Only this residuum which resisted the action of alcohol 
and of distilled water, remained to be examined, and, as 
from former experiments I had satisfied myself that it must 
consist principally of the iron and earths contained in the 
water, I re-dissolved it in dilute marine acid which took up 

Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 17 

i 30 Analysis of the Pittsburgh Mineral Spring. 

the whole of it, except half a grain of white powder, which 
remained on the filter, and which not being soluble in dilute 
marine acid was found to be gypsum or sulphate or lime. 

We have now three solutions which we shall examine in 
the following order : — 

First — That which was taken up by the alcohol and con- 
sisted of only half a grain. This could be only muriate of 
lime or muriate of magnesia. Having converted it into an 
aqueous solution by previous evaporation, and subsequent 
dilution in a small quantity of distilled water, I found that it 
was precipitated by pure ammonia, and shewed the pres- 
ence of marine acid by the addition of nitrate of silver. 
Thus we have decided the presence of muriate of magnesia, 
half a grain. 

Second — It will be perceived that the distilled water had 
taken up two grains of the residuum, from the solution in al- 
cohol. To ascertain the properties of this, I evaporated this 
aqueous solution over a lamp in a glass vessel. When the 
evaporation was nearly finished saline cubic crystal appear- 
ed, which on examination, were found to be wholly muriate 
of soda, or common salt. 

The third and last solution in marine acid, which consis- 
ted of one grain, was diluted with distilled water, and as I 
had no reason to doubt it contained the whole of the iron 
with which the water was impregnated, I added a few drops 
of succinat of ammonia which immediately threw down a 
brown precipitate. When the whole of it was precipitated 
the solution was filtered, and after the residuum had been 
exposed to a red heat it was weighed and examined, when it 
was found to consist of one grain of oxide of iron. 

The Analysis of the Pittsburgh Mineral Spring having 
been thus completed, I shall here recapitulate the whole of 
its contents as it appeared to me from experiments, as fol- 
lows : — 

Muriate of soda - - 2 

Muriate of magnesia - - - 1-2 

Oxide of iron - - , 1 

Sulphate of lime - - - 1-2 

Total 4 
Quantity of carbonic acid gas in one quart of water eigh- 
teen cubic inches. 

Analysis of the Pittsburgh Mineral Spring, 131 


General Remarks on the sensible properties of the Pittsburgh 
Mineral Spring, and of its comparative qualities as resem- 
bling those most celebrated in Europe and America. 

When we take a view of the component parts of this min- 
eral water, as they appear by analysis, we must perceive that, 
it is an uncommonly pure water, possessing all the qualities 
of a strong chalybeate. Those who are not accustomed to 
examine waters of this description, may at first feel some 
surprise at not finding it to contain a greater quantity of 
solid contents, but when we refer to the analysis of simi- 
lar springs both in Europe and America, as performed 
by the most distinguished chemists in each country, we shall 
find that the Pittsburgh spring possesses qualities equal to 
any of them, and to many is greatly superior. As an instance 
in point, I shall take for example, in the first place, the waters 
of Tunbridge, in England, one of the most celebrated and 
established chalybeates of that country, on which many trea- 
tises have been written, and much discussion taken place 
with respect to its medical qualities. According to the anal- 
ysis of the celebrated Doct. Babington, the Tunbridge water 
contains only one grain of oxide of iron in a gallon of water, 
while the Pittsburgh spring contains four times as much, viz : 
one grain in a quart. It also contains only ten cubic inches 
of carbonic acid gas in one gallon of water, while the Pitts- 
burgh spring contains eighteen inches in a quart. On the 
whole its solid contents do not amount to more than one 
fourth of the quantity we find in the Pittsburgh spring ; and 
yet this mineral spring is as much frequented as any in Eng- 
land, and is known to possess most valuable medicinal prop- 
erties in those diseases to which it is applicable. But we 
shall refer to various mineral springs in this country of estab- 
lished reputation, where extensive buildings have been erect- 
ed, and which are frequented with great advantage, by in- 
valids from all parts of the union. In doing so I shall select 
those whose qualities are precisely similar, and whose virtues ;'* 
are to be attributed chiefly to their chalybeate qualities. 

The mineral water of Schooley's mountain, in the state oF> 
New Jersey, is perhaps one of those which has for many 
years sustained the greatest reputation as a chalybeate: 
Having visited it myself, I have had an opportunity of 6b-" 

132 Analysis of the Pittsburgh Mineral Spring. 

serving its powerful medicinal qualities as a chalybeate, bu£ 
for an accurate and able analysis of it, I must refer to an es- 
say of Professor M'Neven, of New York, where it will be 
foundfthat the whole contents of one gallon of the water are 
only about eight grains ; two grains of which consist of ox- 
ide of iron — and that one quart contains nineteen cubic in- 
ches of carbonic acid gas. Here then we have a mineral 
water of acknowledged reputation which does not contain 
much more than one fourth the quantity either of iron or sa- 
line solid contents, which we find in the Pittsburgh spring, 
and as nearly as possible the same quantity of carbonic acid 
gas. I could refer to many other springs of the same nature, 
in this country, possessing the same properties, but scarcely 
one have I ever examined, possessing them in the same de- 
gree ; among others, the Yellow Springs, in Pennsylvania, 
where beautiful buildings are erected, and accommodations 
of every kind are prepared for the invalid ; yet, having myself 
made an analysis of this water with great care, I found that 
it had no claim to rank as a chalybeate of a superior order. 
In fact, all those mineral springs which are impregnated with 
iron, held in solution by the carbonic acid gas, in whatever 
country they are situated, are properly called chalybeates, 
and are endowed with nearly the same medicinal properties. 
What these are I shall now proceed to point out. 


On the medicinal qualities of the waters of the Pittsburgh 
Mineral Spring, with observations on the effect of such 
waters on the system. 

The operation of the chalybeate waters, perhaps the most 
important class of natural medicines, has greatly occupied 
the attention of practical physicians. Much refinement has 
been introduced into the subject, which it is my intention to 
avoid, as my main object is to point out the principal ef- 
fects which such waters produce on the system, and the dis- 
eases to which they are more particularly applicable. Let 
me however premise, that though the principal virtues in 
those waters are derived from their chalybeate impregnation, 
yet certain differences will arise, which modify or alter their 
operation. These may be traced either to the presence of 
an active neutral salt or to a large excess of carbonic acid. 

Analysis of (he Pittsburgh Mineral Spring. 133 

I cannot exemplify this better, than by referring to the waters 
of Ballston and Saratoga, all of which contain iron in 
greater or less quantity, but containing also, as most of them 
do, a considerable quantity of a neutral salt, the effects of 
the iron as a tonic are counteracted, by the purgative quality 
of this salt, which totally alters their medicinal qualities, and 
renders the use of them inexpedient in many diseases, where 
a purely chalybeate water would have the most beneficial 

In taking the Pittsburgh water as an example of a nume- 
rous class of natural springs, properly called chalybeate, I 
shall first make some observations on the effect of iron on 
the system, and then shew that in the state in which it is 
found in such waters, it is particularly calculated for the cure 
of such diseases as preparations of iron are found bene- 
ficial in. 

The effects of iron on the system are sufficiently nume- 
rous in the animal economy ; it stimulates the fibres of the 
stomach and abdominal viscera ; it augments the tone of 
all the muscular fibres ; strengthens the nerves and gives the 
whole weakened system remarkable energy ; it increases the 
strength of the pulse, and from its use, the pale emaciated 
countenance assumes a healthy florid color. 

With regard to the various preparations of iron, those 
which seem best calculated for the purpose, are such as are 
most certainly conveyed into the blood, and most easily con- 
verted into oxide. Of these, iron dissolved by carbonic acid 
and held in solution in a mineral water, seems by far prefera- 
ble, and with respect to quantity, experience has shewn us 
that small doses of iron produce better effects than large 
ones, particularly when persevered in, as should always be 
the case for a considerable length of time. This observation 
is particularly made by the celebrated Doctor Cullen, and 
should always be attended to. Mineral waters, he remarks, 
often produce cures which we in vain attempt to perform by 
the combinations of iron in our shops, even although those 
waters contain nothing but iron ; this is manifestly owing to 
the weakness of the dose, in proof of which we find that the 
strongly impregnated waters seldom answer so well as those 
which we commonly reject. 

The Chalybeate water at Pittsburgh I can venture to re- 
commend for all purposes for which Chalybeates in general 
are given, and though the quantity of iron is small, yet it is 
equal to that contained in some of the most celebrated Ger- 

i 34 Analysis of the Pittsburgh Mineral Spring. 

man mineral waters, and greater than in many of those which 
are most esteemed and frequented in this country. The 
mineral spirit or fixed air by which the metal is held in solu- 
tion should by no means pass unnoticed, as it is an agent pos- 
sessing no small powers over the human frame, and if prop- 
erly employed becomes one of the most useful remedies. To 
this principle most mineral waters owe their activity; it is this 
agent which holds many of their most powerful ingredients 
in solution, and enables them to pervade the remotest recess* 
es of the human frame. 

With these observations on the effect of chalybeates ori 
the system, we are prepared to enter into the medicinal qual- 
ities of the Pittsburgh spring. 

The first effect of those waters, and which is easily and 
distinctly remarked in the water at Pittsburgh, is decidedly 
of a stimulant kind. Soon after taking a few glasses of it, 
the pulse is increased in strength, the patient if previously chil- 
ly and pale, feels a glow occasioned by the increased circula- 
tion, and by persevering in the use of the water for a few 
days, the appetite becomes greatly increased, and the gen- 
eral spirits and health improved ; these effects are more stri- 
king in some than others. It is not uncommon however on 
beginning a course of this water, for the patient to experi- 
ence nausea, vomiting, and pain about the region of the 
stomach, or else a heaviness of the head, slight vertigo, and 
sense of fullness over the whole body. Sometimes these 
are so troublesome as to shew that it was not adapted to the 
nature of the complaint, and to forbid the use of it, but in 
general these symptoms soon disappear after a little use, 
and particularly when an increase of any of the natural ex- 
cretions, such as the urine, or faeces, is established. 

Such chalybeates as the Pittsburgh water, produce no 
certain action on the bowels, nor if we attend to the na- 
ture of their contents as they appear by analysis, could 
it be expected, when the bowels are foul and loaded with 
bilious sordes. The water often purges pretty briskly at 
first, but this is a very desirable circumstance, and its opera- 
tion in this way soon ceases, when the intestines are restor- 
ed to their proper state. The secretion which this mineral 
water most commonly excites is that of urine, and this is 
generally in the greatest quantity, when the water best agrees 
with the habit of the patient. 

The general operation of such waters is to increase the 
power of the secretory system in a gradual and uniform 

Analysis of the Pittsburgh Mineral Spring. 135 

manner, and at the same time to impart vigor to all the 
functions. It is therefore chiefly in chronic disorders and 
those which are attended with great laxity and debility of 
the solids, that such waters as we speak of are found to be 
peculiarly useful. 

Chalybeates, such as this, are of eminent service in an 
impaired or capricious appetite, weakness of the assimilatory 
organs, irregular digestion, flatulent distention, and an oc- 
casional vomiting of viscid mucus. These are the usual 
symptoms of a disease called dyspepsia, which is of fre- 
quent occurrence in this country, and which often baffles 
the aid of medicine in any other form but that of a natural 
chalybeate combined with exercise and a proper regulation 
of diet. But in recommending this water as a powerful 
tonic, I wish it to be perfectly understood that it should be 
used only in those cases where all traces of active inflamma- 
tion have subsided, such as complaints of the biliary organs 
of the alimentary canal, or any of the viscera, arising prin- 
cipally from intemperance or from climate, and frequently 
accompanied with jaundice. It is by being employed inju- 
diciously in these cases and before the inflammatory diathe- 
sis is removed, that such chalybeates have often disappointed 
the sanguine expectations of those who have resorted to the 
use of them. 

Neither the design nor the limits of this essay will permit 
the taking of a more extensive view of the various diseases 
for which chalybeate waters may be considered as valuable 
remedies. Enough has been already said to recommend 
such mineral waters to those who are afflicted with com- 
plaints for which tonics, and particularly combinations of 
iron, are preferable to many of our common medicines. 
I have as yet but slightly alluded to one quality which this 
mineral spring at Pittsburgh has been observed to possess. 
It has been already stated in the Analysis, that a slight im- 
pregnation of sulphur, in the form of sulphuretted hydro- 
gen, is present in this spring. It is true, that subsisting as 
it does only as a gas in the water, the effect of the sulphur 
as a medicine, may not be very apparent, but still such wa- 
ters possess some medicinal qualities, and if highly impreg- 
nated with it, are valuable remedies in Herpetic and other 
cutaneous disorders, assisted by the frequent use of the 
warm bath, which, at watering places is always to be found 
as a necessary and suitable appendage to such establish- 

136 On the Combinations of Chromium. 

Art. XX. — On the Combinations of Chromium; by Augus- 
tus A. Hayes. 

In the published accounts of the combinations of this 
metal, much discordance exists, and the processes recom- 
mended for procuring the oxides, are not only ineligible, but 
fallacious. The memoir of Vauquelin, contains nearly all 
that is known on this interesting subject, notwithstanding the 
time which has elapsed, since the discovery of the metal. 
The following additional observations, connected with its 
chemical history, are submitted by the writer. 

Protoxide of Chromium. — This oxide is of a dark green 
color, when in fragments it possesses considerable lustre, it 
is soluble in the strong acids, and forms with them green so- 
lutions ; it is less fusible than platina. When mixed with 
three parts of nitre and exposed to heat, it is acidified and 
forms chromic acid, which, uniting to a part of the potash 
present, forms bichromate of potash. When heated nearly to 
redness it becomes suddenly ignited, and presents the appear- 
ance of combustion; an effect first observed by M. Berzelius, 
and by him referred to internal change of form, consequent 
to rapid contraction. This interesting character is exhibi- 
ted, when we place a few grains of the dry oxide in a pla- 
tina spoon, gently press it, so as to distribute it equally over 
the surface and cause it to slightly cohere, and subsequently 
heat it by the blow pipe flame ; the oxide is partly dispersed 
by the sudden action. If considerable quantities of the ox- 
ide be heated in a capsule, the ignition commences at. the 
surface in contact with the disk, and sufficient heat is devel- 
oped, to continue the action throughout the mass. The 
color is usually changed to a light green, and long ignition ren- 
ders it nearly grass green. It is obtained by heating the 
hydrate to 400° F. A light green, insoluble oxide is obtain- 
ed in prismatic fragments, by heating tartrate of chromium 
to redness. 

Protohydrate of Chromium. — This compound is of a 
greenish black color, brittle, and the fracture exhibits a vit- 
reous lustre. It is soluble in strong and diluted acids. When 
recently prepared, it is soluble in a solution of pure potash, 
which, when saturated, is of a dark green color; the oxide 
precipitates as the solution of potash, absorbs carbonic acid 
from the atmosphere. Ammonia in solution, does not dis- 

On the Combinations of Chromium. 137 

solve oxide of chromium, either when moist or dry ; — hydrate 
of chromium may be suspended in ammonia, but after a few 
days it precipitates, when the mixture is kept in closed ves- 
sels. It is readily obtained by washing the orange colored 
chromate of lead of commerce, in a large quantity of distilled 
water ; collecting and drying the powder, and mixing it with 
oil, so as to form a paste ; placing the paste in a covered cru- 
cible, and exposing it to a red heat for twenty minutes ; — 
agitating it occasionally, to collect the reduced lead into a 
globule. On withdrawing and cooling the crucible, a dark 
green oxide, mixed with small globules of lead, and a button 
of reduced lead are obtained. The former separated from 
the lead by washing, and mixed with three parts of nitre, 
and exposed in a crucible for half an hour to a full red heat, 
gives on cooling, a yelloAv salt — which is to be dissolved in 
water, and neutralized by adding sulphuric acid, until turme- 
ric paper browned by ammonia, is restored to its former color, 
by the solution — a small quantity of ammonia added will 
precipitate any alumina, and the filtered solution, mixed with 
a quantity of sulphuric acid, equivalent to one half the nitre 
employed, and heated to 212° F., will afford a rich green pre- 
cipitate, on adding pure ammonia, containing, after washino- 
with water, nothing but protoxide of chromium and water. 
It is essential to the perfection of this process, that the nitre 
should be decomposed into a nitrite, and chromate, by the 
temperature to which it is exposed ; but the native mixture 
of oxides of chromium, and iron, may be employed as a sub- 
stitute, for the bichromate of lead. 

Dcutoxide of Chromium. — Its color is brownish black, in 
fragments, its lustre shining. In cold muriatic acid, it dis- 
solves and forms a greenish brown solution ; when the solu- 
tion is heated, chlorine is evolved, and protomuriate of chro- 
mium remains. Nitric acid when warm, dissolves it, and 
forms with it a brown solution ; the acid may be dissipated 
by exposure to a temperature sufficient to volatilize it ; the 
oxide remains unchanged. Sulphuric acid dissolves it, and 
when the solution is heated, it becomes a protosulphate. It 
may be obtained, by evaporating a solution of chromate of 
chromium to dryness on a vapor bath ; it then presents the 
above characters. It however contains water, which may be 
expelled by an increased temperature, but the oxide is ren- 
dered insoluble. When heated, in a retort connected with 

Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 18 

138 On the Combinations of Chromium. 

a pneumatic apparatus, oxygen is given off at a tempera* 
ture below 400° Fahrenheit. " The oxide obtained by ex- 
posing nitrate of chromium to heat, until vapor of nitrous 
gas ceases," — yields nitric acid, when treated with lime and 
water. An unknown weight of the moist oxide, yielded chro- 
mic acid 8.17 grains, protoxide of chromium 4.07 grains : 
— it probably contains one prime of each. 

Peroxide of Chromium, or Chromic Acid. — When dry, 
its color is yellowish brown ; its solution when somewhat di- 
luted is yellow with a shade of brown ; the solution has an 
acid and astringent taste ; — it bleaches litmus and blue pa- 
per ; — it does not afford crystals by evaporation, but is reduc- 
ed to a yellowish brown crust, which is slightly deliquescent. 
It unites to alkalies and oxides, and forms salts. At a tem- . 
perature below the boiling point of mercury, it fuses with 
bubbling, and is partially decomposed ; at a red heat, it be- 
comes the protoxide. It may be obtained by dropping mu- 
riatic acid into a mixture of chromate of silver and distilled 
water, until the red brown color of the chromate is reduced 
to white with a tinge of red ; filtering, and cautiously add- 
ing a few drops of muriatic acid, till a white precipitate 
ceases to be formed. When large quantities are required, 
the bichromate of lead may be added to strong muriatic 
acid, and the mixture placed on a warm sand bath for a few 
hours, occasionally stirring the mass. Water may then be 
added and filtered from the chloride of lead, and the filter- 
ed fluid used instead of the muriatic acid, in decomposing 
the chromate of silver ; — in either process a solution of pure 
chromic acid is obtained. This acid possesses the property 
of coloring salts which crystalize in its solution. 

Protoxide of Chromium and Acids. — Nitrate of Chromi- 
um. — Nitric acid dissolves protoxide of chromium, and affords 
a solution, which, when concentrated, is of a dark green col- 
or when viewed by reflected light, but by transmitted light, 
thick portions of the fluid appear of a dark red ; by lamp 
light, the solution transmits red light. By evaporation it does 
not afford crystals, either when neutral or acid ; but is redu- 
ced to a syrup, and ultimately, to a dry and brilliant gum like 
mass, which often splits into long prismatic masses ; its col- 
or is dark green both by reflected and transmitted light. Its 
solution has a sweet and astringent taste, resembling the 

On the Combinations of Chromium, 139 

salts of lead. When heated on a vapor bath for some hours, 
it is rendered partly insoluble, water boiled on it gives a 
brown solution containing nitric acid. At a temperature be- 
low redness it is decomposed, and becomes a very bulky 
green oxide. 

Hydrosulphuric acid, does not decompose solutions con- 
taining protoxide of chromium, nor does oxide of chromium 
dissolve in its solution. 

Muriate of Chromium. — When dry, this salt exists in the 
state of a transparent green powder ; its solution is dark green, 
and of a sweet astringent taste ; it does not yield crystals. 
If heated to 212° this salt exhibits some greenish grey spots; 
at 300°, no acid is disengaged. When dried at 212° it is 
slightly deliquescent. At a red heat it swells, becomes green- 
ish gray, and is ultimately decomposed. 

Sulphate of Chromium. — Diluted sulphuric acid dissolves 
oxide of chromium, and forms a neutral green solution of an 
astringent taste, — it is uncrystalizable. When dry, its frag- 
ments are blue, green and transparent ; mixed with charcoal 
and heated in a closed crusible, it affords a green powder, 
which, with muriatic acid gives an evanescent odour of hy- 
dro sulphuric acid ; the acid is merely tinged with green. 
When nitrate and sulphate of potash exist in the solution, 
by evaporating and cooling, the nitrate ciystalizes in very 
oblique octohedrons, or double 4 sided pyramids with rhom- 
bic bases, — of an apple green color. 50.20 grains of sul- 
phate of chromium, dried at 212° F., dissolved in water, 
and added to an excess of a solution of muriate of baryta, — 
gave 65.70 grains dry sulphate of baryta =22.27 sulphuric 
acid. The filtered solution, treated with a solution of sul- 
phate of soda and again filtered, decomposed by carbonate of 
ammonia, — gave 15.98 grains dry oxide. 22.27 + 1 5.98 -f- 
1 1.95 water in the salt=50.20. And 22.27 : 1 5.98 : : 40 : 28.70. 

Phosphate of Chromium. — Phosphate of soda, added to ni- 
trate of chromium, occasions a precipitate of phosphate of 
chromium ; while moist, its color is light green, by drying it 
becomes darker and after being heated red hot, it is blueish 
black ; its powder is greenish brown, and it is soluble in hot 
muriatic acid. In phosphoric acid it remains suspended for 
some days, but finally subsides, 

140 On the Combinations of Chromium. 

Carbonate of Chromium., is a black shining powder, so- 
luble with effervescence in hot nitric acid. When heated to 
redness it is decomposed, the oxide becomes ignited, and re- 
mains of a dark green color. Obtained in the state of an hy- 
drate, its color is light blue ; — in this state it is slightly soluble 
in a solution of carbonic acid. It is obtained by adding 
carbonate of ammonia, to a solution of nitrate or muriate of 

Ferroprussiate of Chromium, is a light blue, insoluble 
powder ; procured by adding ferroprussiate of potash, to mu- 
riate of chromium. 

Borate of Chromium, is a light green insoluble powder, 
which falls when we add borate of ammonia, to muriate of 
chromium. Borate of ammonia, forms a precipitate in very 
dilute solutions of chromium. 

Oxalate of Chromium, is obtained by adding oxalate of 
ammonia, to a solution of protoxide of chromium ; it is a 
pale green insoluble powder. In the proximate analysis of 
vegetables, — muriate of chromium is a valuable reagent, for 
separating the oxalic, from the tartaric, and citric acids. 

Succinate of Chromium, is a pale green powder, soluble in 
dilute acetic acid, insoluble in water. 

Acetate of Chromium. — Oxide of chromium dissolves in 
acetic acid and forms a salt possessing in general the char- 
acter of the nitrate, except, that it is less readily decomposed 
by precipitants. 

Tartrate of Chromium. — Tartaric acid dissolves moist ox- 
ide of chromium, and forms a neutral green solution ; when 
evaporated in a hemispherical capsule, it dries on the sides 
like varnish ; before the water is entirely dissipated, the dry 
portion splits into small prisms, exhibiting a pectinated ap- 
pearance ; these prisms are usually kept in motion by the 
vapor. When dry this salt is greenish and black ; it is de- 
composed at a red heat. It may be employed to furnish ox- 
ide of chromium. 

Citrate of Chromium. — Moist oxide of chromium is solu- 
ble in citric acid, the solution when concentrated is plum 

On the Combinations of Chromium. 1 41 

blue. Like the tartrate, it cracks into prismatic portions ; 
they are however generally much smaller; it is readily de- 
composed by heat, and affords the protoxide. 

Other salts have been formed, but they are either nearly 
insoluble, or uncrystalizable. In its combinations with 
acids, protoxide of chromium, presents some of the charac- 
ters of alumina ; but it does not like that earth, form triple 
salts, — at least so far as I have investigated its compounds. 

II. On the combinations of chromic acids, with bases. — These 
compounds are so well known, that it is not necessary for 
me to enter into details ; — I shall therefore add only a few 
remarks on their colors, and the processes of obtaining them. 

Chr ornate of Potash. — Its crystals are minute prisms of 
five and six sides ; its color is lemon yellow ; it is very solu- 
ble in water. It is obtained by neutralizing a solution of the 
bichromate ; by subsequent evaporation and rest, the crystals 
are deposited. 

Bichromate of Potash. — When crystalized without the 
presence of other salts, it presents rhombic tables, truncated 
on their obtuse, lateral edges ; its color is pure orange-red ; 
— crystalized in an acid solution, its color is red brown. Hy- 
drosulphric acid gas, decomposes this salt, and gives a pre- 
cipitate of oxide of chromium, mixed with sulphur. 

Chromate of Ammonia. — The crystals are minute prisms, 
which are aggregated so as to present thin plates, resembling 
the form of the index used in writing ; its color is yellow, and 
its lustre is metallic. It is formed by neutralizing chromic 
acids, by ammonia. It is a beautiful salt. 

Bichromate of Ammonia. — The crystals are rhombic prisms ; 
color, red-brown ; less soluble than the chromate. When 
heated on platina foil, at a temperature below redness they 
are decomposed, with the evolution of light and a slight de- 
tonation ; oxide of chromium remains. 

Chromate of Iron. — When a solution of proto sulphate of 
iron, is added to a solution of chromate of potash, the chromic 
acid of the chromate is decomposed, its oxygen unites to the 
protoxide of iron forming the peroxide ; a part of which can- 

142 On the Combinations of Chromium. 

not be retained by the acid, and therefore is precipitated 
with the oxide of chromium ; another portion of the oxide of 
iron, is thrown down by the potash disengaged from the 
chromate. Iron does not dissolve in chromic acid, even 
when its affinity is aided by attaching it to a slip of platina ; 
— heated with the acid, it decomposes it. 

Chromate of Copper. — It is uncrystalizable. When moist, 
its color is chesnut brown, when dried at 212° F. it is black. 
It is soluble in ammonia, and affords a rich, dark green solu- 
tion ; by evaporating the ammonia, it separates unaltered. 
It may be formed, by adding chromate of potash, to sulphate 
or acetate of copper. 

Chromate of Lead. — Its crystals are acicular prisms, often 
grouped so as to form radiated masses ; the color of the 
crystals is pure orange yellow, and they present a rich silky 
lustre. When in the form of scales, this salt is of a dull scar- 
let color ; when moist the color is a bright scarlet ; and 
when in powder its color when dry, is scarlet. It is con- 
verted into the bichromate by nitric acid, and subsequently 
dissolved ; pure alkalies dissolve it, and leave it unchanged, 
when neutralized by acids. Its crystals are obtained, by dis- 
solving oxide of lead in a solution of pure soda ; adding a 
solution of chromate of potash, and placing the mixed solu- 
tion, — contained in a conical or hemispherical vessel, — in a 
jar, at the bottom of which, carbonic acid is slowly elimina- 
ted from chips of marble, by sulphuric acid. As the soda 
absorbs the acid, beautiful groups of radiated crystals ap- 
pear.* It is readily obtained, by fusing nitre on bichro- 
mate of lead, at a low temperature, dissolving the nitre and 
washing the powder. In this way it might be prepared by 
our manufacturing chemists, and introduced into use as a 

Bichromate of Lead. — In the form of powder, its color at 
ordinary temperatures, is yellow and orange yellow ; it is so* 
luble in nitric acid ; decomposed by muriatic acid, and also 

* Mr. Faraday, first published the fact, that chromate of lead might be crys- 
talized, or rather, he first observed crystals, which had been deposited from an 
alkaline solution, and it is due to this accurate observer, for me to state, that 
his observation led me to make experiments on this salt. 

On the Combinations of Chromium. 143 

by an excess of sulphuric acid. When heated, its color 
changes to dai'h orange-red, scarlet, and finally to red brown ; 
on cooling it returns to its former color ; this change takes 
place under water, and is common to several of the chro- 
mates. It is obtained, by adding a solution of bichromate 
of potash, to a solution of nitrate of lead, — a yellow powder 
falls, which, by washing becomes orange yellow. 

Chromate of Silver. — In the form of powder, its color is 
red brown ; it is instantly decomposed by chlorides and mu- 
riatic acid. Sulphates also decompose it ; it is soluble in 
ammonia, and when the solution is exposed to the air; long 
pointed filaments, formed by the aggregation of acicular 
prisms, are deposited. When a dilute solution contained 
in a conical glass, is partly neutralized, by a few drops of ni- 
tric acid introduced at the bottom, the crystals form in a few 
hours, — they are often one inch in length.* It may be ob- 
tained, by double decomposition. 

Bichromate of Silver. — Its crystals are rhombic tables, 
and scales of an indeterminate form ; color red, with a tinge 
of brown ; decomposed by chlorides, sulphates, and muriatic 
and sulphuric acids; soluble in warm nitric acid, and is depos- 
ited as the solution cools, in the form of rhombic tables. It is 
obtained by dissolving chromate of silver in nitric acid ; or by 
adding oxide of silver to chromic acid. It is this salt which 
forms the ruby red crystals, described in our elementary works, 
as crystals of chromic acid. When a slip of silver is dipped 
into chromic acid, it is instantly acted upon, and crystals of 
the bichromate are formed. This effect is sooner produced if 
a drop of sulphuric acid, be added to the solution. If an arc, 
composed of iron and silver, be used with this solution, the 
silver is negative, with respect to the iron ; — but a galvano- 
scope of sixteen turns of wire, when made the medium of 
communication, does not indicate the existence of a current. 

Chromate of Mercury. — It exists in the form of a powder; 
its color is dull yellow. It is partly decomposed by hot ni- 
tric acid. Muriatic acid dissolves it, and forms bichloride of 

* Mi-. Teschemacher, has noticed the production and crystalization of this 
salt, in the mixed solution of chromate and nitrate of potash ; — this salt is inso- 
luble in an alkaline solution containing potash, and the crystals observed by 
him, were probably the bichromate of silver. 

144 On the Combinations of Chromium, 

mercury and muriate of chromium. Chromic acid converts 
it into the bichromate. It is obtained, by boiling a solution 
of ammonia, on bichromate of mercury ; decanting, wash- 
ing the black powder, consisting of chromate, and oxide of 
mercury, and heating it on a vapor bath for twelve hours ; 
the oxide is reduced, and the mercury may be separated by 
washing ; — or acetic acid may be employed to remove the 
oxide, from the black powder while moist. 

Bichromate of Mercury. — This salt may be obtained in 
small scales ; it usually exists in the form of a powder ; its 
color is a beautiful scarlet. It is slightly soluble in nitric 
acid ; muriatic acid converts it into chloride, and bichloride 
of mercury, and chromic acid. Ammonia, instantly con- 
verts it into chromate and oxide of mercury. 56 parts of 
this salt, were heated with a solution of ammonia ; the black 
powder which resulted, was washed, and exposed to a tem- 
perature sufficiently high to volatilize the mercury ; — the ox- 
ide of chromium which remained, weighed 4.864 parts. The 
fluid which was decanted from the powder, was evapora- 
ted, and the salt which remained was heated ; 4.927 parts 
of the oxide of chromium were obtained. It may be ob- 
tained in the form of scales, by adding mercury to chromic 
acid ; or by heating mercury, in an acid solution of chromate 
and nitrate of potash. By adding chromate of potash, to 
acid proto-nitrate of mercury, and washing the resulting pre- 
cipitate in hot water, it is obtained in powder. 

Chromate of Chromium. — Chromic acid, dissolves moist 
oxide of chromium, and forms with it a neutral solution, of a 
yellowish brown color ; it does not afford crystals, but it 
sometimes affords small prismatic fragments. Its powder is 
brownish black, and shining. It may be repeatedly evapo- 
rated to dryness, and redissolved in water, — if not exposed 
to a temperature above 212° F. — without decomposition. 
With nitrate of lead, it gives a yellow precipitate. With 
ammonia, a dark green precipitate. When exposed to a 
temperature equal to 212° F. for a long time, it is rendered 
insoluble in water. 

Windsor, Vt. 9th Januartj, 1828. 

Geological Nomenclature. 145 

Art. XXI. — Geological Nomenclature, Classes of Rocks, 
SfCj by Prof. Amos Eaton. 

In tlje first part of the Erie Canal survey, I attempted a 
Geological Nomenclature, so far as the rocks described in 
that survey required one. The facts upon which it was 
founded, were all collected more than four years ago. Since 
it was published, I have reviewed the whole line several 
times, and have traced the strata laterally to a considerable 
extent. Several gentlemen, who are familiar with such in- 
vestigations, have devoted much time and attention to the 
same subject, and have favored me with their results.* 

Before entering upon the subjects which exclusively ap- 
pertain to the second part, I shall introduce some facts in 
support of the Geological Nomenclature proposed in the 
preceding synopsis. I published a tabular view in the 2d 
No. of the 13th vol. of the American Journal of Science, 
with a view to elicit criticisms. Fortunately I succeeded 
beyond my expectations, Prof. Parker Cleaveland favored 
me with one hundred and three very judicious queries. Dr. 
Steele of Saratoga presented facts and a suit of specimens, 
which totally changed my former views of the oolitic forma- 
tion. Through the politeness of several others, my views 
were corrected on numerous points. 

But the characters and order of superposition, are so 
manifest in this district, that an attentive observer, of but 
ordinary pretensions, could scarcely fall into very great mis- 
takes, especially in the secondary formation. 

I take for my starting points, the Highlands on the Hud- 
son River, a traverse across Rensselaer County, from the 
west line of Massachusetts to the Hudson, and the Genessee 

The Highlands being cut down to their base, in a trans- 
verse direction by the Hudson, we cannot conceive of a bet- 
ter exhibition of primitive rocks. The central part is here 
occupied by slaty granite (gneiss) embracing alternating 

* Mr. G. W. Clinton and Dr. I. Eights, have furnished very important 
facts. Profs. Beck, Henry, Rafinesque, Patten, and Benedict, have communi- 
cated whatever fell in their way from time to time. More than twenty other 
scientific gentlemen have occasionally contributed useful materials. I should 
add, that on account of a temporary indisposition, Mr. Clinton assisted in col- 
lating localities, and in preparing materials for this nomenclature. 
Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 19 

146 Geological Nomenclature*.. 

layers of crystalline granite, often twenty or thirty feet in 
breadth. On the south-east side, at Fort Washington, the 
slaty granite passes into mica slate. On the north-west side, 
it meets the granitic hornblende rock, which passes into the 
gneisseoid variety. This last rock, terminates the Highlands 
up the river, with the lofty mountain, usually called Butter- 
hill. A similar succession of rocks follows the mica slate, 
and terminates the Highlands down the river. 

On following the Highland range about one hundred miles 
in a north easterly direction, to its junction with the Green 
Mountains, where it appears on our geological profile under 
the name of Savoy, we see it pass westerly under the gran- 
ular quartz, and that under the granular limestone. There 
is however an intervening range of granular quartz and 
limestone, between the main primitive range and the Saddle 
Mountain range ; or rather these rocks seem to be separated 
to a great distance north and south. As this does not de- 
range the general order of succession (for alternations are 
found every where) we here actually see the very arrange- 
ments of rocks as set down in the Synopsis, with the ex- 
ception of mica slate. As there is no mica slate on the 
west side of the primitive range, we look elsewhere for evi- 
dence of its relative position.* 

On the south-east side of the slaty granite in the High- 
lands, we find mica slate, before the hornblende rocks com- 
mence. In Saratoga county, in the McComb range, the 
slaty granite passes into mica slate. On the east side of the 
Green Mountain range, the mica slate and hornblende rock 
alternate several times. Between Worcester and Boston, 
there is certainly some mica slate ; and the hornblende rock, 
is the last primitive rock towards Boston. On the whole, 
leaving out the supposed mica slate, west of the Green 
Mountain range, we have no good reason for admitting the 
hornblende rock between the granite and mica slate. 

This statement presents my reasons in short, for the ar- 
rangement of our primitive rocks. Next we see the granu- 
lar limestone pass directly under the argillite, which is on the 
east boundary of Rensselaer county, our next starting point. 

I shall not detain the reader with any apologies for former 

* In the first part of the Canal survey, I was misled on this subject by high 
authority, but I have now fully investigated the subject. There is no mica slate 
m Berkshire County, on the west side of the Green Mountain range. 

Geological Nomenclature. 147 

mistakes, as he will feel no interest in such apologies. I now 
state, that I have traversed the transition range from Mas- 
sachusetts line to Hudson river, in fifteen places, since the 
first part of this survey was published, for the purpose of as- 
certaining the true superposition of rocks in this most com- 
plicated and difficult geological theatre. 

The argillite, under which the granular limestone passes 
near Massachusetts line, is certainly the very same contin- 
ous rock, which forms the Cohoes falls, and the bed and 
banks of the Hudson from Baker's falls to Newburgh, near 
the Highlands. All the intervening rocks lie in a kind of 
inclined trough in the argillite. We have no primitive argil- 
lite in our district, if organic remains form the characteristic 
distinction. Neither do I believe there is such a rock as pri- 
mitive argillite on this globe. This is Bakewell's opinion ; 
and though I have often changed mine, I now believe he is 
correct, and that the bassetting edges of the same rocks pre- 
sent a more primitive appearance in all cases ; and that this 
fact has led geologists into ruinous errors. 

First graywacke, sparry limerock, calciferous sandrock, 
and metalliferous limerock may be seen in regular order of 
superposition, between Massachusetts line and Hudson river. 
West of Cohoes Falls the same rocks occur, and at Alexan- 
der's bridge the second graywacke overlies the whole. 

We now pass over the second and third occurrence of the 
same rocks on our geological profile, and recommence with 
the same calciferous sandrock west of Little Falls. Here we 
find the metalliferous limerock, and second graywacke so 
perfectly characterized, that mere inspection is conclusive. 
The graywacke passes directly under the millstone grit in 
fair view in Starch Factory Creek, Meyer's Creek, and Steel's 

Here too we see the millstone grit pass under the salife- 
rous rock. This may be seen eighty miles in a lateral direc- 
tion towards lake Ontario. The bassetts of this rock, of the 
saliferous and of the ferriferous, may all be seen in this or- 
der of superposition all the way to lake Ontario. 

We may now go to our next starting point, Genessee 
Falls. Here we see the saliferous rock. Ferriferous lias, 
and geodiferous, lying upon each other as distinctly as a 

* Places set down on the geological profile will be referred to without any 
farther description. 

148 Classes of Rocks. 

pile of books. We. see the same between Niagara Falls and 
Levviston, one hundred miles west. At Black Rock we see 
the geodiferous rock pass under the cornitiferous. This latter 
we see pass under the pyritiferous at the same place ; and 
this continued along the south shore of lake Erie, also by way 
of Ithaca to Catskill mountains. 

Thus we demonstrate by actual inspection, the true order 
of superposition. Nothing is left for conjecture or hypothesis. 

On pursuing the lateral extension of strata, we arrive at 
certainty in regard to several important localities. We have 
traced the cornitiferous limerock of Black Rock at lake Erie 
to Bethlehem caverns, in Albany county, and thence through 
Greene into Ulster county. We find that all the most ele- 
vated part of Catskill and Allegany mountains is the third 
graywacke of the south shore of lake Erie. Also that 
the old red sandstone of Werner is not a general stratum. 
It often forms extensive beds in the third graywacke, and is 
also found in the second graywacke in some places. Cony- 
beare seems to favor the opinion that old red sandstone is 
not a general stratum. I think our district furnishes ample 
evidence of its being merely in beds. The red sandstone of 
Connecticut river and under the palisadoes of the Hudson, 
is certainly the saliferous rock of Conybeare ; and the con- 
glomerate is his breccia. See introduction to Phillips and 
Conybeare, p. 15. 

As the proposed nomenclature depends entirely upon facts 
for its support, I shall make particular reference to those lo- 
calities which are most accessible to stage lines, packets, 
and places of public resort. With this brief view I shall 
close that part which is expressly devoted to nomenclature. 
But I shall make numerous applications to this subject when 
I treat of facts which belong more exclusively to the second 
part of the canal survey. 


I. Primitive Rocks. 

1 . Granite. 

At West Point we find as extensive layers of crystalline 
granite, as at any place which I have visited. Here it always 

* These localities were all searched out and examined'under the direction and 
at the expense of the Hon. Stephen Van Rensselaer, during the last seven years. 

Classes of Rocks. 149 

alternates with the slaty subdivision (gneiss.) It is the same 
at Chesterfield, Goshen, Southampton, Russel, Spenser, &c. 
in Massachusetts. Also in Haddam, Litchfield, Norfolk, 
&c. in Connecticut. These and numerous other localities 
seem to authorize the adoption of the opinion of De Witt 
Clinton, L. L. D. Professor Nuttall, and several Europeans, 
who prefer including the granite and gneiss of Werner under 
the general name granite. Varieties. Sandy, at Little Falls. 
Porphyritic, in Johnstown, Montgomery county, N. Y., Litch- 
field, Connecticut, Chester, Massachusetts. Graphic, in 
Litchfield, Connecticut, Southampton mines. Contents. 
Steatite, in Savoy. Diallage and plumbago, Lake George. 
Magnetic iron ore, Crown Point, lake Champlain. Schorl, 
every where. 

2. Mica Slate. 

Varieties. Compact, on the Boston stage road between 
Worthington and Chesterfield, and between Shrewsbury 
and Northborough, Massachusetts. Fissile, Fort Montgom- 
ery in the Highlands, Conway, Massachusetts. Contents, 
Staurotide, Litchfield and Goshen, Connecticut. Sappare y 
Chesterfield, Massachusetts, Chatham, Connecticut. Garnet, 
every where. 

3. Hornblende Rock. 

Divisions. Slate, east part of Becket, Mass., Butterhill, in 
the Highlands. Granitic, Dalton, Mass., Highlands, adjoin- 
ing the granite. Varieties. Gneisseoid, Dalton, Mass., But- 
terhill, Highlands. Porphyritic, Conway, Plainfield, Buck- 
land, Mass. Sienitic, Chip Hill, Johnstown, N. Y. and near 
Boston, Mass. Contents. Granite, in veins, Belchertown, 
Mass. Actynolite, Cummington, Mass. Augite, Lake 
George, N.Y. 

4. Talcose Slate. 

It is always slaty. Divisions. Compact, east side of Sad- 
dle Mountain Range. Fissile, on the west side of the same 
range. Variety. It is highly colored with chlorite in the 
east part of Savoy. Contents. Chlorite, in beds in Savoy 
and Florida, Mass. Octahedral crystals of iron ore, near 
Williams College, Mass. 

5. Granular Quartz. 
Divisions. Compact, adjoining the east side of Saddle 
Mountain Range. Sandy, on the west side adjoining the 

1 50 Classes of Rocks. 

granular limestone. Varieties. Translucent, Snowy Mount- 
ains in Wallingford, Vt. Yellowish, most common. Ferru- 
ginous, Bennington, Vt. Pittsfield, Mass. Contents. Hae- 
matite, in Dalton, Mass. three miles south of the village. 
Manganese, in Bennington, Vt. 

6. Granular Limestone. 

Divisions. Compact, Stockbridge, Mass. Sandy, west 
side of Pittsfield, Mass., on the Albany stage road. Varieties. 
Statuary Marble, Stockbridge, Mass. Dolomite, Barrington 
and Sheffield, Mass. Milford, Conn. Contents. Tremolite, 
Canaan, Conn. Serpentine and chromate of iron, Milford, 

II. Transition Rocks. 

7. Argillite. 

Divisions. Clay Slate, Williamstown Mountain Range, — 
the bed and banks of the Hudson. Wacke Slate, overlying 
the clay slate, most of the way from Massachusetts line to 
three miles west of Cohoes Falls in New York. As this 
slate takes the same inclination with the clay slate, and dif- 
fers widely from the horizontal (or 1st) gray wacke, and u.s 
their meeting can never be ascertained, I have presumed to 
join them. Varieties. Chloritic. Both of the divisions are 
often colored green by the chlorite in Rensselaer county. 
Roof Slate. That which splits freely into roofing slate, Hoo- 
sick, Chatham, N. Y. Water Gap of the Delaware River, Pa. 
Glazed Slate, banks and bed of the Hudson from Fort Mil- 
ler to near Newburgh, Water Gap of the Delaware. Chlo- 
ritic, red and purple, varieties frequently occur near its junc- 
tion with the primitive rocks. Contents. Silicious Slate, 
nearly black, and of different shades of green, in the glazed 
variety at Troy and a few miles below Albany, in extensive 
beds. Basanite, in the glazed slate, near Troy and Albany. 
Anthracite, in small quantities, near Troy. Striated quartz, in 
the cleavages of the glazed variety, in a kind of sheet, con- 
nected with an unascertained green, hard, substance, resem- 
bling serpentine. Mrs. Griffith's account of Disbrow's 
method of boring for water, presents facts which seem to 
make the argillite the great repository of carbonated waters. 
The borings at Ballston and Albany, about forty miles apart, 
are made in the same layers of argillite ; and carbonated 
water is found in both places. 

Classes of Rocks. 151 

8. First Graywacke. 

Subdivisions. Compact, overlying the inclined wacke 
slate in a horizontal position, from Canada to near the High- 
lands. Rubble, on the compact ; very perfect in the middle 
of Rensselaer county, also two miles south of Albany. Vari- 
ety. Chloride, in the highest $art of Rensselaer county. 
Contents. Milky quartz, in the eastern part of Rensselaer 
county. Calcareous spar and anthracite along the east 
side of the Hudson from Fort Miller to opposite Newburgh. 

9. Sparry Limerock. 

Subdivisions. Compact, about New Lebanon Springs, 
Slaty, three miles south of the springs on the Hudson turn- 
pike. Variety. Checquered rock, on the Little Hoosick, 
and near New Lebanon Springs. Contents. Chlorite and 
Calc. spar, every where. 

10. Calciferous Sandrock. 

Subdivisions. Compact, Flint. Hill. Geodiferous, at Flat 
Creek, west of the Noses. Varieties. Oolitic, near Sarato- 
ga Springs. Sparry, at Flat Creek. Quartzose, on the 
north side of the Mohawk, opposite Flat Creek. Contents. 
Concentric concretions, near Saratoga Springs. Sulphate of 
barytes and anthracite, on the West Canada Creek, six miles 
above its mouth, also at Little Falls. Semi-opal, connected 
with the quartzose variety. Brown spar and Hoimstone, at 
Flint Hill. 

1 1 . Metalliferous Limerock. 
Subdivisions. Compact, on East Canada Creek, Otsqua- 

ga Creek, and west of Little Falls. Shelly, Trenton Falls, 
north of Utica, Glen's Falls, twenty miles north of Saratoga 
Springs. Variety. Birdseye marble, is the compact, to which, 
when polished, the vertical encrinites give a birdseye appear- 

12. Second Graywacke. 

Subdivisions. Compact, at Alexander's Bridge. Rubble, 
©n the top of the hill west of Schenectady, three miles. Va- 
rieties. Grindstone, in Blenheim, Scoharrie county, N. Y. 
and in Nova Scotia. Honeslate, in Rensselaerville, Albany 
county. Red sandy, (old red sandstone ?) in Stephentown, 
Rensselaer county, N. Y. near Dr. Elmore's. Contents. 
Anthracite, near Alexander's bridge. Manganese Blcn- 

io : 2 Classes of Rocks. 

heim ; also in Hillsdale, Columbia county, N. Y. This man- 
ganese is connected with an argillaceous iron ore, resembling 
bog iron ore. 

III. Secondary Rocks. 

13. Millstone Grit. 

From Little Falls to lake Ontario, between Little and Big 
Salmon rivers, this rock bassetts and is in fair view. Both 
divisions occur near each other, and often in the same layer, 
— the under side being always the sandy and the upper the 
conglomerate. Coal mines in Europe are in connexion with 
this rock, but have not as yet been found in this connexion 
in our country. 

1 4. Saliferous Rock. 

Its bassetting edges lie directly on the millstone grit. Both 
divisions, and all the varieties, but the conglomerate, may 
be seen at Genesee Falls and in the banks of the Niagara 
river ; also at Oak Orchard Creek. The conglomerate and 
sandy varieties are seen on Connecticut river, and at New 
Haven under the basalt ; also on the Hudson above New 
York under the pallisadoes. Salt springs are found in it 
every where west of Rome ; but none have been discovered 
under the basalt of this country. 

15. Ferriferous Rock. 

It reposes on the saliferous rock every where west of Lit- 
tle Falls. The sandy division lies over the slate, and a layer 
of red argillaceous iron ore, about a foot or a foot and a half 
in thickness, lies between them ; or alternates with the lay- 
ers of one or both. The slaty division is generally green or 
blue, and very soft. The sandy division is harsh, coarse, 
and often conglomerate at the top. The softest variety of 
the iron ore is called reddle, and is used as a paint. 

16. Lias. 

This general stratum does not agree in all respects with 
European specimens which have been received in this coun- 
try ; besides, no oolite has ever been discovered in connexion 
with it. But it has so many characters m common with the 
lias, that I venture to extend this name to it. Subdivisions. 
Califerous slate forms the south ridge along the Erie canal 
from Oneida to near Rochester ; also the lower part of Lock- 

Classes of Rocks. 153 

port Hill. Cdlciferous grit overlies the slate in grit-like 
blocks. It is used in the construction of locks and aqueducts 
at Jordan and other places. It abounds in shells. Varieties. 
Conchoidal. This variety breaks into conchoidal or lentic- 
ular forms. It appears in the bed and on the banks of the 
canal in Minden, where it contains petrifactions resem- 
bling the chiton. Argillaceous. This is common through- 
out. Shell grit occurs near, or at the upper surface of the 
stratum. Contents. Gypsum, water cement, and the ver- 
micular limestone are found in beds in this rock and in no 
other. All may be seen at Manlius Centre, along the south 
bank of the canal. Shell limestone is common in this stra- 
tum. One of the best localities is between the lower Gene- 
see Fall and the one next above it, on the west side. 

17. Geodiferous Limerock. 

Subdivisions. Swinestone is found in the bed and banks 
of the Erie canal near Genesee river, and extending one 
mile east. The canal at Lockport is cut through this rock 
to the depth of nearly thirty feet for two miles. It forms the 
upper part of Niagara Falls to the depth of seventy feet. The 
sandy division overlies the swinestone, is less fetid, somewhat 
stratified, and contains quartzose grains. Its characters are 
well exhibited at Black Rock, immediately under the corni- 
tiferous limerock. Varieties. The Fetid can scarcely be 
considered a distinct variety. The darker the color, the 
more fetid the odor. Contents. The geodes contain sul- 
phate of strontian, granular gypsum, laminated selenite, 
anhydrous gypsum, fluor spar in limpid cubes, arragonite, 
dog-tooth spar, brown spar, and waxy blende. Galena 
has been found in small masses imbedded in this rock, and 
Bitumen has been observed in exudations upon its surface. 

18. Cornitiferous Limerock. 

Subdivisions. The lower or compact side contains layers 
of hornstone, generally in pairs, often of great extent. The 
upper, or shelly side, contains irregular masses of hornstone, 
often somewhat nodular. Black Rock affords an excellent 
locality of the compact, and Auburn, behind the state prison, 
presents a most perfect locality of the shelly. 

Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 20 

1 54 Classes of Rocks. 

19. Third Graywacke. 

I propose placing all this vast formation under one gene- 
ral name for the present, on account of the difficulties and 
perplexities which would result from any other method. It 
embraces what have been described by eminent geologists 
under graywacke, old red sandstone, breccia, pyritous shale, 
and pyritous grit. A writer in the American Journal of Sci- 
ence, vol. 4, p. 249, calls most of it sandstone. By referring 
it to the Erie canal line, where nature seems to have pre- 
sented her works in the most uniform and simple dress, we 
find that all those variable layers are above the cornitiferous 
limerock. This rock may be traced from lake Erie, in fair 
view, until it bassetts from under the Helderberg and Cats- 
kill Mountains : Therefore the pyritiferous rock (pyritous 
shale and grit of England) which bounds the south shore of 
lake Erie, is the same in the order of superposition, as the 
vast pile constituting the Catskill and Allegany Mountains. 
Professor Henry and H. H. Eaton have traced the lake Erie 
rocks to the Catskill Mountains ; and Mr. N. Goodsell has 
traced them to the Olean coal mines in Pennsylvania, under 
the direction of the Rochester canal company. . 

Subdivisions. Pyritiferous slate. On the shores of lake 
Erie this is the perfect pyritous shale of Whitby in Eng- 
land. A pupil of mine, Dr. Witherell, has collected and 
sent to this school every variety of the Whitby rock, with 
specimens of the bituminous shale, coal, and most of the 
petrifactions contained in it. They agree in character, per- 
fectly with this rock. The same bituminous shale, the same 
pyritous petrifactions, and the same kind of coal, are found 
here. The coal is in small quantities until we pass the 
Pennsylvania line ; but it appears in thin layers for many 
miles along the east shore of Cayuga Lake. This variety 
retains its characters very perfectly in some parts of the 
Catskill Mountains near its base. In the Helderberg, six- 
teen miles S. W. from Albany, the pyrites is quite as abun- 
dant as at lake Erie. Pyritiferous grit. Under this subdi- 
vision I include for the present, all the siliceous rocks of this 
general stratum ; such as the old red sandstone, gray sand- 
stone, Rubblestone, conglomerate or breccia, red wacke, 
argillaceous wacke, and the proper compact graywacke. It 
may be asked, why not consider each of these as a general 
stratum ? Every geologist, who will visit Catskill Mountain, 

Classes of Detritus. 155 

and ascend it by way of the lake turnpike to the mountain 
House, and return by way of the clove turnpike, will per- 
ceive all the objections to such a method. He will see all 
these varieties with the exception of the conglomerate, pass- 
ing into each other, in the same continuous horizontal lay- 
ers. The conglomerate caps the Round Hill south of the 
Lakes. The most perfect old red sandstone of Werner oc- 
cupies more than one hundred feet of the base of the moun- 
tain at the mouth of the clove ; and further north, becomes 
redwacke, and the most perfect compact gray wacke. Old 
red sandstone has always been a perplexing subject to me. 
I was greatly relieved when Conybeare gave the opinions of 
the geologists of the continent against its admission into the 
system. I most cordially accept the suggestion that it 
ought to be struck from the list of general strata, and treated 
as a variety of the second and third graywackes. The cal- 
careous grit is a doubtful variety. It may be a bed of corni- 
tiferous limerock. It appears a mile or two east of the vil- 
lage of Bern, on the Helderberg. Contents. Grindstone 
is very perfect in Blenheim in Scoharie county, and was 
wrought to good advantage during the last war. The Nova 
Scotia grindstones in our markets often have gray wacke at- 
tached to them. Fibrous Barytes of Scoharie county, cal- 
led Scoharrite, is found in a soft variety of this rock. 

IV. Superincumbent Rocks. 

20. Basalt. 

That this class of rocks is of volcanic origin, and that it 
contains real basalt, I believe is no longer disputed. Every 
variety, and every imbedded and every disseminated min- 
eral may be seen at Deerfield and at Mount Holyoke in Mas- 
sachusetts, — at New Haven in Connecticut, and at the Pali- 
sadoes on the river Hudson. 


V. Alluvial Detritus. 

21. Anti Diluvion. 

Subdivisions. Plastic clay is found near Crown Point, 
on the west side of lake Champlain ; also in Newark, New 
Jersey, &c. I have seen it in beds in Rensselaer and Albany 
counties. I should have considered it in all the localities I 

156 Classes of Detritus. 

have visited as in beds or veins, had I adopted my own or> 
servations as authority. But it has been treated as an ex- 
tensive stratum by several accurate geologists. See Ameri- 
can Journal of Science, vol. 7, pp. 31, 32, 44. Marly clay 
(London clay) is one of the most universal of all visible 
strata. It is the common clay of all North America. Lieut. 
A. B. Eaton, of the U. S. army, traced it from the mouth of 
the Ohio to New Orleans, mostly covered with bagshot 
sand. No particular localities need be pointed out. It al- 
ways effervesces with acids when dry. It always contains 
muriate of lime ; consequently all wells dug in it yield hard 
waters. Sulphate of magnesia is not uncommon in it ; and 
in some localities it contains small quantities of muriate of 
soda. We have one such locality near the Rensselaer 
school, on the bank of the Hudson. Bagshot sand and 
Crag are next in extent to the marly clay, and generally 
overlie it. The sand and crag often pass into each other, 
and often alternate. If they are ever to be treated as dis- 
tinct, probably the crag would be considered as uppermost ; 
for I have never seen the sand uppermost, after ever so ma- 
ny alternations. The hard-pan of agriculturists is the 
most perfect crag. Varieties. Brick earth is very perfect 
in marly clay, on the canal west of Lockport. Hard-pan 
extends over vast districts of the elevated parts of New 
England, and New York. Contents. Puddingstone abounds 
in crag and sand west of Schenectady, and west of Little 
Falls, along the Erie Canal. Buhrstone is found in the mar- 
ly clay of Georgia. Bog-ore is found in the bagshot sand 
from near lake Champlain to Coxackie, along the west line 
of the Hudson — about eighty miles. Indurated marl is 
every where in marly clay, in the form of rings and pins. 
Shell marie is found overlying and imbedded in crag, bag- 
shot sand, and marly clay ; particularly along the canal be- 
tween Rome and the Genesee river. 

22. Diluvion. 

No discoveries have yet furnished materials for a subdivi- 
sion of this general stratum. There is even some difficulty 
in distinguishing it from post-diluvion. The negative char- 
acter, that it never contains any works of art, is not a suffi- 
cient distinction. But, that the pebbles are not separated 
from the light sediment is a pretty good characteristic. 
When it is so situated that it could not have been brought 

Classes of Detritus. 157 

into its present situation by any existing cause, its character 
is unquestionable ; such as the Erie Canal line from Little 
Falls to near the Genesee river. This great diluvial trough 
of one hundred and sixty miles in extent, could not have 
been scooped out and filled by any existing cause. But the 
Detritus on which Troy, N. Y. is built, might have been 
produced by the Hudson : Yet, as the constituents resemble 
those of the great diluvial trough in every particular, we 
feel a confidence in the opinion that it is diluvial. In both 
localities, though eighty miles apart, the Hemlock tree, 
(Pinus canadensis) with its roots, trunk, branches and green 
leaves, is the chief vegetable. In both localities we find 
much quicksand, masses of clay, gravel, &c. which are 
much alike. These remarks will apply to numerous other 
localities, which I have examined. This subject will be re- 
sumed in its proper place.* 

23. Ultimate Diluvion. 

I believe nothing had been published on this subject until 
I made a communication to the American Journal of Sci- 
ence, vol. 12, p. 17, unless DeLuc and Jameson intended 
the word Geest for this stratum. Their definition, however, 
would seem to embrace surperficial analluvial also. Since 
that time the subject has occupied the attention of many 
accurate observers. Prof. Cleaveland has observed it in 
the state of Maine, and it has been recognized by several 
geologists in most of the ancient elevated forests of Massa- 
chusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania. It is 
always some shade of yellow, and gray, or rather a light dir- 
ty orange. It is best characterized when reposing on the 
hard-pan variety of crag. It is from three to nine inches 
thick in most localities. When thicker we can generally 
find evidence of its having been accumulated by the last 
settling of water into basins, or depressions of the surface of 
the crag. 

24. Post-Diluvion. 

In the beds of large rivers this may be distinguished from 
diluvion by an undeviating character. The coarse ■pebbles 
are always higher up the river than the fine sediment. For 

* Reference would be made to the Alluvial detritus of New York, and Long 
Island, but neither Mrs. Griffith's, nor Dr. De Kays' excellent essays seem to be 
sufficiently particular to establish its character. 

158 Classes of Detritus, 

example, pebbles reposing in argillite, from ten to forty feet 
in depth, form the bed of the Hudson from the head of tide 
water at Troy, to near Albany. Seven miles below, sedi- 
ment more or less fine is seen in the bottom of the river. 
Dr. Hayden of Baltimore, has given numerous localities of 
this kind, without any other object than that of giving us 
simple matter of fact. 

Works of art are found in this formation, which distin- 
guishes it from diluvion. It is a curious fact that no works 
of art are found in the diluvion. It seems to prove, that 
durable works of art were not common before the deluge ; 
and that pasturage was the chief employment of the ante- 

VI. Analluvial Detritus. 

25. Stratified Analluvion. 

Whole rocks sometimes become soft detritus, without be- 
ing removed from their original position. At Montezuma, 
on the Erie canal, Comfort Tyler, Esq. dug a well, one hun- 
dred and eighteen -feet deep. He perforated the diluvial 
trough, then the lias and ferriferous stratum, and entered 
several feet into the saliferous rock, where he found strong 
salt water. These rocks were all in a state of disintegration, 
and retained all their original contents, and all their charac- 
ters excepting induration. I have traced this kind of forma- 
tion southwardly to Cayuga lake, and up the lake to Spring 
mills, a distance of about fifteen miles. This is in exact con- 
formity with a general principle which seems to have been 
overlooked. All rocks are found to be harder and to present 
a more primitive aspect, as we approach their elevated and 
bassetting edges. This character is well illustrated by the 
lias, ferriferous and saliferous rocks just mentioned. Also by 
the third graywacke of Lake Erie, in its approach to Catts- 
kill Mountain ; and by the argillite and first graywacke as 
they approach the primitive rocks of the Green Mountain 

26. Superficial Analluvion. 

All rocks are subject to disintegration on their exposed sur- 
faces. The common disintegrating agents, water and varia- 
tion of temperature, are perpetually reducing the upper sur- 
faces of rocks to the state of soils adapted to the production 
of vegetables. As this detritus is not necessarily washed 
from the place of its original production, it may be called 

Account of the Wetland Canal. 159 

analluvial detritus : As it is formed at the exposed surfaces of 
all rocks, it may be denominated superficial. 

It always depends for its character upon the nature of the 
rock whose disintegration produced it. The most distinct 
subdivisions are granulated soil and clay loam. It presents 
a granulated appearance when it originates from graniie, 
granular quartz, the graywackes, millstone grit, &c. It is of 
a loamy, and more or less clayey appearance, when horn- 
blende rocks, argillite, argillaceous graywacke, &c. have 
furnished it by their disintegration.* 


1. The upper part of every general rock-stratum, is either 
more fissile or more loose and siliceous, than the under part. 
This affords a natural character for making the two-fold di- 
visions adopted in this nomenclature. 

2. The upper surface of every general rock-stratum in our 
district, is destitute of a superimposed rocky covering, for a 
great distance. This affords a very natural guide for the 
limit of general strata. 

(To be continued.) 

Art. XXII. — Account of the Welland Canal, Upper Cana- 
da; by William Hamilton Merritt, Esq. Superin- 

This canal is intended to connect Lakes Erie and Ontario, 
and thereby remove the natural barrier caused by the won- 
derful and well known falls of Niagara ; it exceeds in mag- 
nitude any other yet constructed in America, excepting the 
short cut from the Chesapeake to Delaware Bay, and in the 
extent of the surface of its waters it exceeds any in the world. 

By reference to the map of the Niagara peninsula, here- 
unto affixed, it will be seen that from the mouth of Grand 
river on Lake Erie, it continues up that stream by a towing 
path one hundred and twenty eight chains, thence up Broad 
creek seventy chains, thence by a thorough cut through an 
extensive marsh ten miles, thence down Mill creek two and 

* The figures given with the preceding synopsis, are intended as an imitation 
of the half- artificial figures of Linnaeus, representing his botanical classes. 
More than half a century has demonstrated the great utility of his plan in fix- 
ing a kind of standard in the mind of the learner. 

160 Account of the Welland Canal. 

a half miles, until it intersects the river Welland, into which 
it descends by a ship lock of eight feet lift, thence a towing 
path or track way is constructed ten miles,* and thence the 
canal runs in a northerly direction to Lake Ontario, winding 
up a ravine about sixty six chains with from eight to twelve 
feet cutting. This part is finished and filled with water, to- 
gether with a guard gate to control the admission of the 
waters of Lake Erie. Thence commences the deep cut, (as 
it is termed,) or dividing ridge, and a most formidable work 
it assuredly is. It commences with an almost abrupt height, 
of thirty feet above the canal bottom, then gradually rises to 
fifty six feet six inches in a distance of one hundred and six 
chains, then gradually descends in a distance of twenty eight 
chains to thirty feet, when it as abruptly breaks off in anoth- 
er ravine. The entire distance through this cut is one 
mile fifty four chains, averaging about forty four feet cutting; 
to the depth of from twelve to eighteen feet from the surface, 
it is composed of clay with a small mixture of sand, and be- 
low this, a tenacious blue clay. 

This cut was commenced in Sept. 1 825 ; it contained one 
million four hundred seventy seven thousand seven hundred 
cubic yards, and at the close of this last season, there remain- 
ed to be removed, only three hundred seventy thousand yards. 
The bottom is removed from each end of the cut with scows, 
and the earth is deposited in the Welland river and in a large 
reservoir below bottom level at the other end. Between 
these points, the earth is removed with carts, wagons and 
machinery ; being drawn to the top, where it is deposited on 
the bank, on either side. The machine in most general use, 
is a common wagon wheel, fixed on an upright post, 
about seven feet from the ground on the top of the bank ; a 
rope, with a hook on each end reaching from the bottom of 
the canal to the top, is fixed round this wheel which hooks 
on the back of the descending cart and to the tongue of the 
one below, so that the return team assists in pulling up the 
loaded one, thereby, in effect, reducing the ascent to aperfect 
level, as the loads are drawn up with more ease than they 
are removed on the level to discharge. 

* This part of the canal, was placed under contract in October last ; a number 
of men are now employed on the Marsh, which has to be excavated from ten to 
sixteen feet deep throughout. The contracts stipulate for its being finished, 1st 
Oct. 1828. 

Account of the Wetland Canal. 161 

From the termination of the deep cut, to that part where 
the mountain descends (or lock No. 1 , as it is called, although 
it is properly No. 2,) the distance is four miles and twenty 
three chains. The land is undulating, and composed alter- 
nately of ridges and ravines, running from east to west, at 
right angles with the Canal ; the ravines are generally below 
bottom level, and by throwing an embankment on the west 
side of the Canal, they afford large and spacious reservoirs, 
embracing in all about two miles in length. The cutting 
through these ridges is light, except one at the brow of the 
mountain, which, in a distance of twenty chains, averages 
near twenty feet. This part of the Canal is finished, except 
ten thousand cubic yards of excavation, which will be remo- 
ved in April next ; there are three small culverts of masonry 
on this summit, one with a span of five feet, the others of 
three feet each ; four twin bridges will cross the Canal, the 
butments of which will be forty feet apart ; the guard lock, 
and the one between the Grand and Welland rivers will be 
forty feet in width and one hundred and twenty five in length, 
so that any steam boat may approach this point by either 
route, that is, from lake Erie by the Niagara river and the 
Welland, or from lake Erie by the Grand river. 

From lock No. 1, the Canal continues in a ravine fifty 
three chains, gradually descending by four locks of twenty 
two feet width — thence for one mile and fifty five chains it 
curves round the brow or break of the mountain to the left, 
and again to the right, for the purpose of extending the dis- 
tance to admit a pound between each lock, and maintain the 
same gradual and convenient descent. There are seventeen 
locks in this distance, and sixty thousand yards of rock ex- 
cavation, which is all removed, and is all that was met with 
between the lakes ; the excavation is nearly all finished, and 
the locks in a forward state. 

From this, the Canal enters another ravine to St. Catha- 
rines, a distance of two and a half miles, in which there are 
twelve locks of twenty two feet width ; the banks are high, 
and the same easy descent is maintained throughout — the 
work on this part is likewise nearly all finished — this may be 
termed the mountain descent, as in a distance of four miles 
and seventy two and a half chains, from lock No. 1, there 
are thirty two locks, with a declination of three hundred and 
twenty two feet — their dimensions are one hundred feet length 

Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 21 

162 Account of the Wetland Canal. 

and twenty two feet width in the pool, calculated to pass ves- 
sels of one hundred and twenty five tons burden. 

From this to lake Ontario, a distance of five miles, the Ca- 
nal continues most of the way in the bed of the main branch 
of the twelve mile creek ; there are three locks in this space 
(including the one at the harbour,) thirty two feet wide and 
one hundred and twenty five feet long, for the purpose of 
admitting steam boats from lake Ontario. A large and com- 
modious harbor is constructed at this place, by throwing an 
embankment seventeen chains long, between two high ridges 
and raising the water five feet, which covers an area of three 
hundred acres, capable of containing all the vessels or lum- 
ber which may be required for ages to come — the entrance 
is protected by two piers extending into the lake, one two 
hundred, the other three hundred and fifty yards. 

This Canal is made by a company, incorporated by an act 
of the Provincial Parliament of Upper Canada, with a capi- 
tal of eight hundred thousand dollars. The legislature of 
Upper Canada have authorized a subscription of two hun- 
dred thousand dollars, and have lent the company one hun- 
dred thousand dollars — and the government of Lower Cana- 
da has subscribed one hundred thousand dollars ; the remain- 
der is owned by individuals. The British government has 
likewise given one ninth of the amount of its cost, on condi- 
tion that their stores pass free of toll, besides a donation of 
thirteen thousand acres of crown lands between the Grand 
and Welland rivers, through which the Canal passes. 

That part of the line from the river Welland to Ontario is 
nearly finished, excepting the residue of the deep cut, which, 
although it is rather less than one fourth of the whole amount 
originally to be excavated, is still an arduous work. There 
has been expended, including the purchase of land, mills, 
machinery, &c. about seven hundred thousand dollars, and 
it is supposed it will require the full amount of capital to fin- 
ish it, exclusive of the loan from government. 

Its general dimensions are eight feet depth of water, and 
twenty six feet width at bottom, with a slope of two to one, 
which gives a surface of water of fifty eight feet. 

The company's affairs are managed by a board of direc- 
tors, elected annually, consisting of a President, Vice Presi- 
dent, and five Directors, which situations are now filled by 
the undermentioned gentlemen : 

The Hon. John Henry Dunn, Receiver General of the Pro- 
vince, President. 

Account of the Welland Canal. 163 

Henry J. Boulton, Esq. Solicitor General, Vice President. 

The Hon. Col. Wells, J. B. Robinson, Esq. Attorney Gen- 
eral, D'Arcy Boulton, jun. Esq., George Keefer, Esq., and 
John Clark, Esq., Directors. . 

The immediate superintendance of the business is under 
the management of an agent,* and a secretary, who are ap- 
pointed by the board. Alfred Barrett, of the state of New- 
York is principal engineer. 

The first idea of all Canals is suggested by the direction of 
natural water courses, but in no instance have we ever seen 
the route of any Canal more plainly laid down than through 
this peninsula. 

It affords geological information respecting this portion of 
the country, which we have never seen noticed. The low- 
est point between Lewiston and the Genesee river is at 
Lockport, where the mountain ridge rises thirty two feet 
above the level of lake Erie, extending, with a gradual de- 
scent seven miles to the Tonewanta creek, three miles of 
which is hard limestone rock, and caused by far the great- 
est expenditure on any part of the Erie Canal. 

At this place the dividing ridge is situated near the river 
Welland, from which the water descends both into the Wel- 
land and lake Ontario — in the ravines formed by those wa- 
ters is the location for this Canal — this ridge or barrier is 
only one mile and fifty four chains in length, and appears the 
only formidable obstacle in the whole line. From this the 
mountain.takes a dip and at the brow three miles distant, at 
the falls of the twelve mile creek, it is from forty to fifty feet 
below the level of lake Erie, the mountain again gradually 
rising on each side from twenty to thirty feet above the level, 
as at Lockport — the streams from all the mountain above 
Burlington bay running eastward, and from the falls and 
near the Niagara riveV westward, although it contains no 
rock, neither is any met with until after a descent of eighty 
feet, in winding round the face of the mountain. 

The Welland River is a large stream peculiarly adapted 
for an extensive navigation, being from twelve to eighteen 
feet in depth, and from three to four chains in width. It di- 
vides the peninsula discharging into the Niagara river two 
and a half miles above the falls, and extends with almost a 
dead level from thirty to forty miles into the country. The 

* The gentleman who is named at the head of this article now occupies that 
situation. — Editor. 

164 Account of the Welland Canal. 

company have power to construct a towing path on the Ni- 
agara river, from Fort Erie to the Welland, and thence up 
ten miles, until it intersects the canal by which vessels may 
enter, or return without any obstruction from lake Erie, by 
passing the ship lock now constructed at Black Rock. 

The other entrance by the mouth of the Grand river, 
has been already described, and the advantages expected from 
this connexion will be mentioned hereafter. — In either case 
Lake Erie will serve as a feeder, which by coming in at one 
end of the canal will always afford an equal and abundant 
supply of water, and the same supply may be made use of 
on each level to any extent for hydraulic purposes, which 
will form a productive branch of revenue, as there are no 
mill seats on the peninsula except the Falls of Niagara. 

The natural advantages which the route possesses, can be 
more fully understood by the following abstract of distances. 

Natural Artificial 
M. C. M. C. 

From lake Erie to the marsh on Grand 
river and broad creek, - - 2 38 

Entire cut through the marsh and mill 
creek, ..... 12 40 

To River Welland, - - 10 

12 38 12 40 
From River Welland to Lake Ontario 
including reservoirs and ravines, - 1 1 26 6 15 

Total, 23 64 18 55 
The wide surface afforded by these ravines and reservoirs 
will make the canal appear more like a large river than an 
artificial navigation. 

Another remarkable feature in this navigation is, that by 
throwing a dam over and constructing a lock in the Wel- 
land river below the entrance of the canal, and raising the 
locks two feet, the water may be raised throughout the ca- 
nal to a depth of ten feet, with very little additional expense; 
the towing path is now raised four feet above the surface in 
situations where excavation is necessary, with a view to this 
extension, whenever it may be found desirable. 

We have been thus minute in describing the geographical 
situation of this canal through the Peninsula and its progress 
and prospects, as it has seldom been noticed, and its utility 
is likely to be tested by actual experiment before it will be 
fairly before the public. 

Account of the Welland Canal. 165 

The extent of waters or countries which it will connect, 
can be realized only by looking at a map or chart of North 
America. Lake Erie is the natural outlet of St. Clair, 
Michigan, Huron and Superior, bordering on a country 
containing two hundred and six thousand square miles, be- 
sides the state and valley of Ohio, a part of which may fair- 
ly be included, as it will be connected with lake Erie by the 
Ohio canal, extending to the mouth of the Scioto river three 
hundred and fifty miles, which is two thousand miles from 
New Orleans and only nine hundred and eighty from New 
York by the Ohio and Erie canals, the produce from which 
will cost only one dollar per cwt. 

The next question to be determined is, when property is 
once afloat on lake Erie, where will be its destination, as it 
must pass either through the Welland or Erie canal. For 
ourselves we consider all reasoning on this subject superflu- 
ous, for any person who fairly comprehends the extent of 
country lying on and above lake Erie, must be morally 
certain, that it will afford ample business for at least two 

The projectors of this canal maintain, that property can 
be conveyed to New York market, cheaper through the 
Welland, than the western part of the Erie canal, which 
opinion is supported by the following numerical calculation, 

Distance from Buffalo to Syracuse, where the Oswego ca- 
nal intersects the Erie, two hundred miles, which at 1 \ cent 
per ton per mile for toll is - - $3 

200 miles transportation 1 f cent per mile 3 $6 

add l\ cent per mile for additional toll up - - 3 

Distance from river Welland to Ontario 161 miles, 
Oswego to Syracuse - - 32 


481— $1 45 
Same price as the Erie, 

add 25 miles for Grand River, - - 75 

From Welland canal harbour to Oswego 1 — 3 20 

Add additional 1| cent for 73 miles up - - 110 

which gives a gain in descending of $2 80 per $4 30 

ton, and ascending - - 4 70 

Besides which the following reasons are assigned. First, 

the principal expense in transportation by vessels, consists 

of port charges, loading and discharging— and as vessels 

166 Account of the Wetland Canal. 

will pass through this canal without breaking bulk, the dis- 
tance from Welland canal harbor to Oswego, one hundred 
and twenty miles, will be a mere continuation of voyage. 
Second, the peculiar formation of lake Erie which contracts 
to a very narrow space below Port Albino, and the prevalence 
of westerly winds, together with the current of the Niagara 
river, cause an accumulation of ice to take place every 
winter, which prevents the approach of vessels to Buffalo or 
Fort Erie, from three to five weeks, after the lake at the 
mouth of Grand river and above it is open. Every merch- 
ant is anxious to push his commodities to market on the first 
opening of the navigation, and the facility afforded by the 
Grand river in removing this natural and formidable obstruc- 
tion is important. 

It appears that the United States possess as great an ex- 
tent of lake, as sea coast, and as the opposite side of those 
waters in the Upper province of Canada presents an equal 
extent — every philanthropist must dwell with pleasing anti- 
cipation, on the cheering prospects which are now opening 
to the citizens of this most extensive and heretofore seclu- 
ded region. 

It is a matter of little consequence to the grower in what 
part of the world, his produce is consumed, so long as he 
has to depend on a foreign market for a demand, or by what 
channel it reaches that market ; his interest consists in the 
value of the articles at home, and any measure or any im- 
provement which tends either to facilitate this foreign inter- 
course, or to lessen the expense of transportation, adds so 
much direct wealth to the grower, and consequently to the 

The British government has established free ports at 
Kingston, Montreal and Quebec, where our merchants may- 
deposit their commodities for exportation. We learn that 
an application will be made to Congress this present session, 
to make Buffalo and Oswego on lakes Erie and Ontario, free 
ports to enable the inhabitants of Canada to export their 
commodities by the port of New York on similar conditions 
— this will afford facilities to exports, and open a salutary 
and desirable competition. 

A Steam Boat canal is likewise in contemplation from 
Prescott to Montreal, a distance of one hundred and thirty 
two miles, and from the short distance through which a 
canal is necessary, only about sixty miles with one hundred 
and ninety six feet lockage, we have no doubt it will be ac- 

Account of the Welland Canal. 167 

complished in a few years. In this manner lake Erie will be 
connected with the Ocean by canals of only seventy six 
miles in length — sixteen to Ontario, and sixty on the St. 
Lawrence, which will render this extensive lake coast a sea 
coast, to all intents and purposes. 

It remains to be seen, whether produce can be shipped at 
once from thence to a foreign market, by the gulf of St. 
Lawrence on better terms, than by the Erie canal to New 
York where the market generally is preferred. 


The facility with which the earth is removed in deep cut- 
ting, by means of the improved machine invented by Oliver 
Phelps, must be obvious upon the slightest inspection of the 
accompanying plan, and must necessarily supercede the use 
of any other method hitherto made use of for this purpose, 
both on account of the increase of power, and the simplicity 
and cheapness of its construction, which consists of nothing 
more than a common wagon wheel, with the addition of a 
rim for the purpose of fastening on the rope by which the 
carts are drawn up. This wheel is so placed, on an axle or 
upright piece firmly supported by a brace fastened in a piece 
of timber bedded in the earth, and two posts framed together 
and so placed as to keep the wheel steady, with two shives 
fixed to the sides to keep the rope in its place. A road is 
constructed in the side of the bank, in an oblong direction, 
forming an angle of about fifteen degrees from the top where 
this machinery is placed, to the bottom of the canal. The 
great advantage derived from this method is that no power 
is lost, for the empty team descending assists the one ascend- 
ing — thereby reducing the ascent to a level. Six teams may 
be attached to each machine, and work without the least 
inconvenience or interruption. 

George Keefer, Jun. 

remarks by the editor. 

Having been gratified, during the late autumn, by a visit 
to the deep cut on the Welland Canal, we were, in common 
with our whole party, forcibly struck with the simplicity and 
efficiency of the machinery here described. Horses and 
oxen were driven rapidly down the inclined roads on the 

168 Account of the Wetland Canal. 

bank of the canal, dragging after them their empty wagons, 
and at the same time drawing rapidly up the loaded vehicles, 
which were guided by teams, soon to descend again, after de- 
positing their loads. The unloading was an affair of only a 
few seconds. The body of the wagon being fixed on an 
axis, running longitudinally, was easily made to lose its bal- 
ance, when the load dropped out by the turning of the body, 
while the wheels remained undisturbed, and in a twinkling, 
the empty machine was again running rapidly down the hill 
and drawing up its reluctant counterpart. The bottom of 
the canal was also a scene of great life and industry — hun- 
dreds of men and of animals were busily employed in the 
most active industry. The vast beds of tough tenacious 
and regularly stratified clay, presented decisive evidence of 
being a great diluvial deposit. We did not, however, learn 
that any organized bodies had been found in it. 

From captain Basil Hall, R. N. F. R. S. to whose good 
offices we are indebted for this account of the Welland Ca- 
nal, we received a printed copy of the regulations adopted for 
the government of the laborers and workmen. Their moral 
tendency is excellent, and being every way judicious, we 
understand they proved effectual for the promoting of order, 
industry and good morals. 

Long's Steam-Pump. 


Art. XXIII. — Long's Steam-Pump. 

Lieut. G. W. Long, of the U. S. army, has lately ob- 
tained a patent for an apparatus invented by him, which he 
denominates a Steam-Pump, and which, when known to the 
public will probably find many useful applications. 

The annexed figure represents a section of this appara- 
tus. It will be seen to consist of two symmetrical parts. 
EF is the barrel or suction pipe having a valve opening up- 
wards at E. GHIK is the receiver. OP is a steam-pipe, 
having a valve at R so constructed that steam may be admit- 
ted to one receiver, and cut off from the other, at the same 
instant. The steam is supplied from a boiler, which is not 
represented in the figure. MN is the discharging tube, and 
has a valve at N opening downwards, which is kept closed 

Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 22 

170 Long^s Steam-Pump. 

by the pressure of a small quantity of water in the reservoir 
STVX. A small aperture abed is made in the side of the 
reservoir, by which the water may be conducted away. 

The mode of operation will be easily understood. The 
barrels EF are first filled with water through the tubes L, 
which are then securely stopped. The reservoir is filled with 
water up to the level CD, high enough to close the valves N. 
By turning the valve R, steam is admitted into the receiver 
IH, and the air which this contains is expelled through the 
valve N. As soon as this is effected, the valve R is again 
turned, so as to cut off the steam from IH, and admit it into 
I'H'. The air is then expelled from this receiver through the 
valve N', while the steam contained in IH is condensed by 
contact with the upper part of the pipe EF. A vacuum be- 
ing thus formed, the water rises through the suction pipe EF 
and fills the receiver. The valve R is now turned again ; — 
steam is admitted at O, and the water in IH is discharged 
into the reservoir by the valve N, while the steam in I'H' con- 
denses and that receiver becomes full of water. Thus each 
receiver is alternately filled and emptied. 

A method of regulating the admission of steam, independ- 
ently of manual assistance, has also been invented by Lieut. 
Long, which may be considered as completing the apparatus. 

As the water is raised in the barrel EF by atmospheric 
pressure, and it should ascend with a certain velocity, the 
height to which water will be elevated when the greatest ef- 
fect is produced will be about twenty or twenty five feet. 
With receivers of a capacity of sixteen cubic feet, one being 
emptied every ten seconds, six thousand pounds of water 
might be raised to this height in a minute : an effect about 
equal to that of a four horse power. 

The apparatus evidently requires no great strength of ma- 
terial or nicety of construction. Its first cost will therefore 
be small. But few of its parts are liable to get out of order, 
and those may be easily repaired or replaced. The press- 
ure of the steam need exceed that of the atmosphere but 
little, and the quantity of it necessary exceeds that of the 
water to be raised only by an allowance for wastage occa- 
sioned principally by condensation, while in contact with 
the discharging water and the sides of the receiver. The 
amount of this loss, it may not be easy to estimate exactly 
without the actual experiment ; but if the discharging orifice 
be made large, it will not, perhaps, be so great as to balance 
the advantages of the invention. H. H. G, 

Account of a Water Spout, 171 

Art. XXIV. — An account of a Water Spout, seen off the 
coast of Florida, in the spring of 1826 ; by Benjamin 
Lincoln, M. D., Boston. 

April 5th. — At 6 o'clock, A. M. an order was heard from 
the deck to get ready the gun on the weather quarter, and 
bring the muskets from the cabin. Recollecting what re- 
gion we were then in, my first thought was of an engage- 
ment with a piratical cruiser, but on going upon deck it ap- 
peared that our enemy was a water spout ; bearing north, 
distant, according to the captain's estimation, about two 
miles, and coming down upon us before a whole-sail breeze. 
One musket was fired at it, but it had nearly effected a re- 
treat before we got ready for action. I had just time to see 
it and it disappeared. 

In the course of a few minutes another appeared, which 
was said by the officers of the vessel to be much more dis- 
tinct than any one they had ever seen before. 

I observed it attentively, but neglected to note the time, 
except at its commencement and at the end of a third water 
spout which appeared after the second and principal one 
had passed away. This omission renders it impossible to 
give the duration of its different stages with any good degree 
of exactness. 

The wind came from the land, blowing a whole-sail breeze. 
The thermometer stood at 72°. A black cloud, from which 
the spout proceeded, extended along from east to west ; its 
lower edge very distinctly defined, even, parallel to the sur- 
face of the water, and elevated 25° or 30° above the horizon. 
No other cloud was visible in that quarter, but a haziness 
covered the whole heavens. 

A small, black and perfectly defined cone (fig. 1. A.) dart- 
ed from the lower edge of the cloud and pointed perpendic- 
ularly to the water, which at the same moment was seen fly- 
ing upwards like spray on the rocks (fig. 1. B.) It was dis- 
tinctly noticed that the cloud grew blacker near the cone, ap- 
pearing to be gathered in from all quarters and condensed 
at this point. 

After the lapse of two or three minutes, the cone instanta- 
neously extended itself to about twice its first length (fig. 2. A.) 
and the water was thrown up higher (fig. 2. B.) This con- 
tinued a few minutes ; — then the apex of the cone suddenly 
disappeared, leaving the truncated end jagged, (fig. 3. A.) 

172 Account of a Water Spout-. 

from which little scirrhi were continually darting and disap- 
pearing, the water remaining the same as before. This ap- 
pearance continued two or three minutes, after which the 
cone gradually elongated itself, assumed the cylindrical shape 
(except near its junction with the rest of the cloud) and de- 
scended almost to the surface of the water (Fig. 4.) The 
time occupied by the descent was about two seconds. 

N. B. — All the changes thus far mentioned, were in- 
stantaneous, except the descent, which was gradual. 

As the spout descended, the agitation of the water increas- 
ed, boiling up on each side above the end of the spout, but 
not coming in contact with it. The spout was slightly curved, 
the convexity of the curve being towards the point whence 
the wind came. It appeared to be hollow, light in the mid- 
dle, and black, like the cloud at its sides. A waving, ascending 
motion was distinctly seen in the middle, more distinctly 
near the water than near the cloud. This the sailors with 
one accord pronounced to be water, going up the spout ! 

This appearance lasted fifteen minutes or more, the spout 
remaining entire and unchanged. Then it began to fade, 
and suddenly a section from the lower end disappeared, 
leaving the same scirrhous jagged extremity before men- 
tioned. One section after another disappeared in this way, 
the spout continuing to grow paler, the waving motion grow- 
ing more distinct and slow, and the agitation of the water 
subsiding till the whole disappeared. 

By this time the wind had freshened considerably and the 
cloud had spread over a great part of the heavens. 

In a few minutes after, another cone appeared, exactly 
like the first in all respects, and the same appearance was 
exhibited in the water under it. This remained a short time 
and then disappeared. 

From the appearance of the first cone, till the disappear- 
ance of the last, was three fourths of an hour. 

The wind continued to increase, and the cloud to gather 
blackness and spread in every direction, till it enveloped the 
whole heavens. Next came a most vivid flash of lightning, 
with a most tremendous peal of thunder. It seemed as if 
heaven and earth had exploded at once — and in an instant 
all was calm — the sails hung loose — not a breath of wind 
could be felt. Hain now began to fall not in drops, but in 
torrents, and the wind came in gusts from every point of the 

Account of a Water Spout. 


It continued to rain and blow in this way about fifteen 
minutes, after which it ceased raining, the wind settled in 
its former direction, the sky became clear, and we went on 
our way. 

Fig. 1. 

Fig. 2. 

Fig. 3. 

Fig. 4. 

174 On the Cause of Fresh Water Springs, Fountains, fyc. 

Art. XXV. — On the Cause of Fresh Water Springs, Foun- 
tains, <^c; by Joseph Du Commun. 

In the Harmony Gazette, November 21, 1827, there is a 
Nut for the philosophers, picked, it is said from the National 
Gazette. I have endeavored to crack it, and I now present 
you with the kernel, leaving to your taste to determine 
whether it is palatable. 

The questions proposed are two in number, 1st, Why the 
fresh water issuing from the depth of two hundred and twenty 
feet, by boring in solid rock near the city of New Brunswick, 
rises from eight to fourteen feet above the surface of the Rari- 
tan river ? and 2d, Why the quantity of water corresponds 
exactly and continually with the rising and falling of the tide ? 
If we take an inverted glass syphon ACB 
and pour water into it, the two sides will be 
filled in part, and the water will rise in each 
i\\ side to the same height, say a and 6. 

If instead of water, we introduce mercury in 
the branch A and rain water in the branch B, 
one inch of mercury at m will support above 
thirteen inches of water in the branch B. 
\ And lastly, if in the branch A we have a 
fluid denser than common water, as salt wa- 
ter for instance, the column of fresh water 
will be supported in the branch B, at the 
height b, by a column of the salt water infe- 
rior to it in height, in the inverse ratio of their 
densities, say to the height c only. 

But now, cannot the branch B, of our sy- 
phon represent the subterranean stream wind- 
ing through the crevices of the rocks, until it 
C reaches, at some depth or other, the great 

oceanic reservoir, and cannot the column of salt water in 
the branch A represent, in like manner, the height and press- 
ure of the salt water of the ocean ? 

If so, it explains why the fresh water, in boring by the sea 
shore, is raised and flows above the level of the sea water : 
thus, one of the two given questions seems, to be solved. 

The answer to the second may be deduced from the same 




On the Cause of Fresh Water Springs, Fountains, fyc. 175 

Let us suppose that a hole has been opened in the branch 
B, a little below I b the level of the water at ebb ; the water 
will then flow with a velocity that may be represented by 1, 
but at high tide the water might be supported at the height 
h, if the opening in the tube did not permit it to flow out, 
and it then must flow with the same velocity as if pressed 
under a column of fluid of that elevation. The quantity of 
water so running may be as 3, 4, 5, &c. according to the 
height of the tide ; and finally, it must continually and exactly 
follow its oscillations. 

Such is our solution for the two problems proposed. 

To these considerations several might be added, for exam- 
ple : Knowing the proportional densities of the fresh water 
and the sea water, and the difference of the two levels, to de- 
termine at what depth the subterranean stream empties it- 
self in the ocean. If we calculate the particular case here 
given, we shall find, the density of fresh water being repre- 
sented by 1000, that of sea water by 1029 (Dr. Murray,) 
the difference of the levels being fifteen feet, we shall find, 
I say that the depth at which they join under ground must 
be five hundred feet. 

Thence it follows, that if the junction of the two different 
kinds of water should take place at five thousand feet, or 
one mile, below the surface, the fresh water should rise at 
one hundred and fifty feet ; if at fifty thousand feet, or ten 
miles, as one thousand five hundred feet, &c. This I think 
may account for the springs on high ground, and even at 
the top of insulated mountains. 

Proceeding on, and drawing conclusions from the above 
principle, if admitted, it explains why there are during winter, 
places in our rivers, and each year the same, called air holes, 
where the water is very transparent, and will never freeze. 

It seems that streams, rivulets and rivers under ground, 
are as numerous as on the surface of the earth, that they 
join together to form main streams, and that they are all di- 
rected towards the sea, where they empty at various depths, 
we may suppose also that there are lakes various in extent, 
and then we shall be compelled to admit, that the tide must 
not have a more apparent effect on the springs that are 
opened at remote, or elevated points of the surface, than 
the tide of the Ocean has on the Mediterranean and Black 
sea, although in open commuication with them. 

And to conclude, it might throw some light on that phe- 
nomenon related by voyagers, of spaces of several miles in 


Intelligence and Miscellanies. 

extent, in the open sea, where they have met with water 
perfectly fresh and soft ; supposing these places to be above 
the mouth of one of these immense and subterraneous riv- 
ers, the water of which, being lighter, would ascend to the 
surface and spread to a great distance, until tide, wind, 
wave and current have mixed it with the salt water of the sea. 
West-Point, Dec. 20th, 1 827. 


I. Domestic. 

1. Meteorological Report for the year 1827. 

From the Register of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and 
Sciences, kept at New Haven — by Denison Olmsted, 
Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in Yale 
College, and Secretary of the Academy. 

[Printed by permission of the Academy.] 

In the following paper, it is proposed to lay before the 
Academy, the results of the meteorological register for the 
year 1827, kept by their order, with the hope and expecta- 
tion, that similar reports will be continued from year to year, 
forming a series from which, taken in connexion with the 
meteorological observations already in the possession of the 
Academy, ample materials will be furnished for ascertaining 
the true character of our climate, by comparing it with the 
climates of other countries. 
Table I.— Shewing the state of the Thermometer and Barometer at* sunrise, 

at 2 o'clock P. M., and at 10 P. M.for every month in the year, being the 

mean of daily observations. 
































30.0S 30.05 


42.50 57.00 





















































































Intelligence and Miscellanies. 


Remarks. — I. The Thermometer. 

1. Mean temperature of the year as deduced from the 
three daily observations, 48.42 ; but taking the mean from 
observations at sunrise and at two o'clock, which may be 
regarded as the maximum and minimum, it is - 49.29 

2. Means for the three separate observations, 

for sunrise, 43.03 

2 P.M. 55.55 

10 P.M. 46.75 

3. Means for the several seasons, 

for the winter months 28.66 

spring, do. 46.70 

summer, do. 62.65 

autumn, do. 51.53 

4. Maximum for the year, 

occurred August 6th, and was 93.00 

Minimum January 21st - - -7.00 

Whole annual range of temperature - - 100.00 
The maxima and minima for the several months, 
January, Maximum 45 Minimum -7 
February, " 49 " -2 

Range 52 











March, " 63 " 14 

April, " 73.5 " 33 

May, " 78 " 35 

June, " 83.5 " 42 

July, " 88 " 55 

August, " 93 " 50 

September, " 80 " 45 

October, " 71 " 33 

November, " 60 " 18 

December, "55 " 8 

Hence, the greatest monthly range of temperature occur- 
red in March, and was 49 degrees ; and the least occurred 
in July, and was 33 degrees. 

5. Hottest month, July, - 69.04 

Coldest do. January, .... 22.08 

Whence, it appears that our hottest and coldest months, 
differ from each other only 47 degrees, although the extremes 
of temperature are 100 degrees asunder. 

It appears also that during this year, the mean as deduced 
from the maximum and minimum for the year, coincides very 
nearly with the mean as deduced from all the daily maxima 
and minima ; the former being 50°, and the latter 49.29. 

Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 23 

178 Intelligence and Miscellanies. 

II. The Barometer. 

1. Mean height of the barometer for the year, 30,03 

2. Means for the three separate observations, 

for sunrise, 30.04 

2 P. JVL 30.01 

10 P. M. 30.03 

These results differ so little as not to favor the hypothesis 

of a regular diurnal variation. 

3. Means for the several seasons, for winter, 30.06 

spring, 30.01 

summer, 30.09 

autumn, 30.01 

It appears, therefore, that the mean height of the barome- 
ter during the several seasons, has been nearly equal. 

4. Maximum for the year, - - - 30.62 
It occurred in March and April. In March the wind was 

N. W. and sky clear ; in April, wind N., sky likewise clear. 

Minimum for the year, ... 29.02 

Range, do. - - - - 1.60 

The entire range appears to be, therefore, extremely small. 

The minimum was observed on the night of April 24th, and 

was distinguished by a violent gale of wind accompanied by 

heavy rain. 

Other periods of unusual depression of the barometer 
were as follows : — 

Jan. 1. Barometer 29.04 — a gale, with a violent snow storm, 
Nov. 13. " 29.20— a gale which lasted all night, and 
blew down the chimnies of the College Chapel. The only in- 
stance of so low a state of the barometer which was not at- 
tended with a gale, was on the 28th of December, when the 
mercury stood at 29.23. The wind was high but not violent. 
Maxima and Minima of the respective months. 
January, Maximum 30.45 Minimum 29.04 Range 1.41 


















' 1.60 






' 0.45 





29.72 ' 

' 0.67 






' 0.41 





29.77 ' 

' 0.63 






' 0.70 





29.41 < 

' 1.01 





29.20 ' 

' 1.38 





29.23 « 

' 1.33 

Intelligence and Miscellanies. 


Whence, the greatest monthly range took place in April 
and was 1.60 : the least occurred in July, and was 0.41. It 
appears also that during the summer months, including May 
and September, the variation was much less than during the 
other parts of the year. 

Table II. — Shewing the state of the winds, being such as prevailed at the 
times of recording the thermometrical and barometrical observations. 

























































1 28 


1. Northerly winds constitute of the whole, 44 percent. 

2. Southerly do. . 20 do. 

3. Variable do. 36 do. 

4. Northwest, which bring our fairest weather, 27 do. 

5. Northeast, which usually bring foul weather, 7 do. 

6. The wind has usually remained for only a short time 
either directly east or west. Westerly winds have been ac- 
companied with fine weather ; easterly winds, almost uni- 
formly with clouds, fog, or rain. 

7. Our longest snow storms have commenced with the 
wind between N. and N. E. settling finally at N. E. 

8. The ratios for the several seasons are as follows :— 
Winter months, Northerly 50 Southerly 10 Variable 30 
Spring, " " 29 " 26 " 38 
Summer, " " 28 " 26 " 37 
Autumn, " " 53 " 12 " 24 
Whence, it appears that notherly winds prevail most in 


Intelligence and Miscellanies. 

autumn, and southerly most in spring and summer ; and that 
in spring the winds are most variable, and in autumn least 

Table III.— Shewing the state of the weather at the times of the daily obser- 






















































N. B. Under the head of stormy are included all those 
days on which there fell either rain or snow. 

1. Clear days, 
Cloudy in part, 
Cloudy entire, 
Falling weather, 

2. Months mos^cloudy- 


48 per cent. 
30 do. 
22 do. 
28 do. 
-April, November, and December, 
do. most fair — May, June, and September. 
do. most stormy — January, April, and August. 
3. The year came in with a violent snow storm. The win- 
ter was distinguished for steady cold weather, the mean for 
January being only 22 degrees, and for February only 28 
degrees. A bed of snow unusually compact and indestructi- 
ble, afforded uncommonly fine sleighing from about the 20th 
of December to nearly the 20th of February, and remains of 
this body of snow were to be seen till about the last of March. 
The advantages of an uninterrupted covering of snow as 
a protection to the earth, were obvious as soon as it had dis- 
appeared, the ground being free from frost, and fitted to re- 

Intelligence and Miscellanies. 181 


ceive the full benefits of the returning sun. Light showers 
and mild weather prevailed in April — the elms were putting 
out rapidly on the 4th, and the peach trees were in full bloom 
on the 24th. The first week in May was rather colder, and 
slight frosts occurred as late as the 14th; but they did no 
serious injury to fruit. The thermometer, at the time of the 
latest frost, was no lower than 40, shewing that frosts may 
happen, when the temperature of the air, at the ordinary ele- 
vation of the thermometer above the ground, is 3 degrees 
above the freezing point, the surface of the ground being so 
much colder than the air a few feet above it. The same re« 
mark applies to the first frosts of autumn. They occur as 
soon as the mercury has descended to 40. 

The early part of June was cold, but the month was gen- 
erally pleasant, the temperature ranging from 42 to 83.5 de- 
grees, and the mean as deduced from the daily maxima and 
minima, only 65 degrees. Strawberries were ripe on the 4th, 
and North Haven peas were in market on the 5th. Hayma- 
king commenced about the same time. 

July was distinguished by a great number of copious show- 
ers of rain. Although a good proportion of clear weather 
prevailed, yet the entire quantity of rain was 4.83 inches. 
The thermometer ranged from 55 to 88 degrees, the mean 
deduced as before, being about 70 degrees. During the 
second week in July, our citizens were entertained by three 
evening rainbows of uncommon beauty. 

August had a larger proportion of rainy weather, although 
the sun was entirely obscured for only three days. Ten days 
were more or less rainy, and the amount of rain for this month, 
was greater than for any other, being 6.41 inches. But the 
occurrence which rendered August more particularly memo- 
rable, was the. great Auroral arch, which was seen on the 
evening of the 28th, between the hours of nine and eleven. 
An account of this phenomenon, written at the time for one 
of the city papers, is herewith submitted to the Academy. 
It may be worthy of remark, that an unusually rainy season 
accompanied and followed these Auroral appearances. In- 
deed the quantity of rain which has fallen since the first of 
August, has been 27.46 at the rate 66 inches or 5} feet a year 
— a quantity quite unprecedented at this place. The hottest 
day of the year occurred on the 6th of this month, being 93 
degrees ; but the mean was 68° and was a little less than 
that of July, which, as has been already stated, was 70 de- 

182 Intelligence and Miscellanies. 

The earlier part of September was dry and clear ; but on 
the 14th a series of cloudy days commenced, which contin- 
ued for the most part to the end of the year. On the 19th, 
after a drought, there fell a very copious rain, amounting in 
the course of four days to 5.4 inches. The temperature ran- 
ged from 45 to 80 degrees. 

October was also a rainy month. On the 25th, the occur- 
rence of hail with a few flakes of snow, afforded the first in- 
dications of the approach of winter. Autumnal fruits, par- 
ticularly apples, were very fine and abundant. 

The evening of the 2d of November, presented a lanar 
halo greatly distinguished for its brightness and variety of 
colors. A little snow fell on the 8th, which was all that oc- 
curred during the month. As in the three preceding months, 
the amount of rain was unusually great, being 6.18 inches. 
The month was cold and unpleasant ; and it is worthy of re- 
mark that neither this month, nor the month preceding or fol- 
lowing, afforded any example of that succession of warm, 
pleasant days, usually called the Indian summer — a period 
which was before thought never to fail. 

During the month of December, snow has fallen at three 
different times, but so little in quantity as to have afforded 
scarcely any foundation for sleighing ; indeed, the ground 
has for the most part remained bare. About half the month 
has been decidedly cloudy, and only four days have been en- 
tirely clear. 

Table IV. — Rain. — Shewing the amount of Kain for every 
month in the year. 

January, - 2.21 July, - - 4.83 

February, - 3.60 August, - - 6.41 

March, - 2.57 September, - - 5.40 

April, - - 3.70 October, - - - 6.01 

May, - - 4.34 November, - - 6.18 

June, - - 2.67 December, - - 3.46 

19.09 32.29 

1. Amount for the first six months, 19.09 

2. Do. for the last do. do. 32.29 

3. Total, - - - - 51.38 

Hence it appears, that nearly twice as much rain fell du- 
ring the latter as during the former half of the year ; and 
that the whole amount is probably unprecedented. 

Intelligence and Miscellanies. 183 

2. Native Iron ? slightly arseniuretted. — The substance de- 
scribed below, was brought to me two or three weeks since, 
by Mr. Philo Baldwin,* who stated that it was from Bedford 
county, Pennsylvania, in which county we believe Mr. B. lives. 

Perceiving that it was a singular modification of iron, and 
different from any thing I was acquainted with, — it was, at 
my request, submitted by Mr. S. to chemical examination. 

My impressions are, that it is a new variety of native iron, 
and that it differs from that substance only by containing 
a little arsenic, with a little plumbago. Measures will be 
taken to obtain a greater supply, as it is stated to be abun- 
dant, and will at least form an interesting addition to our 

We take this opportunity to say, that a notice of facts re- 
lating to the native iron of Canaan, which is unavoidably 
postponed, will appear in the next No. — B. S. 

Chemical examination. — The fragment weighed, I should 
judge, two or three ounces, and although it had sustained 
considerable injury, it evidently formed a distinct crystal. By 
observing a symmetrical modification which this crystal had 
undergone, in the truncation of two of its alternate obtuse 
solid angles, I was able easily to ascertain, that it belonged 
to the class of rhombic prisms, but whether the prism was 
right or oblique, I could not determine. The natural planes 
were not sufficiently even, to allow of the determination of 
their angles with perfect accuracy : neither were the results, 
from numerous cleavage planes, uniform enough for this, 
purpose ; although in the latter case the reflective goniom- 
eter was used with the utmost convenience. The inclina- 
tion of the primary planes may be regarded as an approxima- 
tion to 121° and 59°, and those of the secondary (intersect- 
ing the base parallel to its greater diagonal) to the primary 
146°. With the cleavage crystals the following angles were 
obtained, 120°, 121°, and 122° — a diversity very remarkable, 
as the cleavages appeared to the eye quite perfect and the 
planes highly uniform. 

The cleavage parallel to the lateral planes is effected with- 
out much difficulty, whilst no terminal one is visible ; it break- 

* Mr. Baldwin went to Newtown, Connecticut, where he formerly resided, 
and was to return in a week to learn the nature of the mineral, hut has not yet 
called, which prevents me from stating the exact locality.— B. S, 

184 Intelligence and Miscellanies. 

ing in that direction with great difficulty, and presenting an 
uneven and sub-hackly fracture. The external planes of the 
crystals before being broken, were dull and nearly black, ow- 
ing to a thin coating of brown oxide of iron ; but fresh cleav- 
ages presented a fine metallic lustre, and a color between sil- 
ver white and steel grey. It breaks with the greatest diffi- 
culty, and small masses often flatten under the blow of the 
hammer, like pure iron. Its hardness is almost that of ordi- 
nary steel. Specific gravity, in distilled water at 60° F. 7.337. 
It is highly magnetic with polarity, so distinct as to take up 
iron filings. Before the blowpipe it melts. 

Fragments of the size of a pea, brought within the exteri- 
or flame of the compound blowpipe, emitted a very slight va- 
pour, in which the well known odour of arsenic was detected ; 
and immediately on coming within the inner cone of flame, 
they burnt with intense energy, and with a most brilliant 
light, throwing out a profusion of scintillations, after the 
manner of pure iron, or more like a burning watch spring. No 
odonr of sulphur was perceived in these trials. In order, how- 
ever, to make myself sure of the absence of sulphur, I resort- 
ed to the following experiment. A portion of the metal was 
dissolved in dilute nitric acid : the solution was supersatura- 
ted with potash and boiled in the alkaline liquor ; the pre- 
cipitate was separated, and the supernatant fluid neutralized 
by nitric acid, to which was afterwards added nitrate of lead ; 
the precipitate was separated, and found to be perfectly so* 
luble in dilute nitric acid, thus evincing the absence of sul- 
phate of lead, which must have formed part of the precipi- 
tate, provided sulphur had existed in the mineral under ex- 

After having examined in the usual modes, for silver, gold 
and other metals, and not discovering any to be present,* I 
dissolved fifty grains in nitric acid, with a view to ascertain 
merely the proportion of iron present. After the solution 
appeared to be effected, I observed a number of little black 
flakes floating in the liquid, which resisted the action of the 
acid. These being separated by the filter, were examined 
and found to be plumbago, which, under somewhat similar 
circumstances, though less disguised, and more abundant, 

* After the iron had all been removed from the nitric solution by ammonia, 
and the fluid boiled, hydro-sulphuret of ammonia gave no cloudiness, thus 
evincing the absence of nickel. 

Intelligence and Miscellanies. 185 

was found in the native iron of Canaan. They weighed 0.2 
grs. and from other trials, appear to exist in the mineral pret- 
ty constantly in this proportion. The nitric solution was 
precipitated by ammonia, and the residuum after drying in- 
dicated 48.7 grs. of metallic iron. 

I afterwards repeated my examination with greater care in 
the following manner. Twenty five grs. were dissolved in di- 
lute nitric acid. This solution was boiled for some time with an 
excess of soda, and deposited 35 grs. of the peroxide of iron. 
The supernatant liquor with the washings of the precipitate 
being evaporated and neutralized by nitric acid, was de- 
composed by nitrate of lead, and afforded a precipitate 
weighing 1.5 grs. which, upon burning charcoal gave the 
smell of arsenic, and was entirely soluble iri nitric acid, and 
therefore consisted wholly of arseniate of lead. The result 
of my trial, then, would be as follows, after deducting the 
weight of the plumbago — for 24.9 of the mineral. 

Iron, 24.263 

Arsenic, .... 389 

Loss, ■ 248 


Which gives per hundred of the mineral, free from the 

Iron, 97.44 

Arsenic, 1.56 

Loss, 1 


This therefore cannot but be regarded as a singular sub- 
stance, especially as it affords us an instance of the remark- 
able effect produced by a small proportion of arsenic in dis- 
guising the natural properties of iron. Whether it coincides 
with the species described by Mohs under the name of axot- 
omous arsenical pyrites, (to which opinion I am rather in- 
clined from its crystalline character and specific gravity,} or 

Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 24 JJ 

186 Intelligence and Miscellanies. 

whether it constitutes a distinct species in mineralogy, I will 
not at present venture to assert. When an additional supply 
of this substance shall be furnished us for examination, and 
the means of comparing it with some genuine specimens of 
the above mentioned species shall occur, it will be very easy 
to decide upon this point. Charles U. Shepard. 

Yale College, March 4th, 1828. 

3. Note, from R. Harlan, M. D. on the Examination of 
the large bones disinterred at the mouth of the Mississippi 
River, and exhibited in the city of Baltimore, January 22rf, 
1 828. — These bones have excited much curiosity in this coun- 
try, and have even been noticed in some European publica- 
tions : they have been referred, by different individuals, to the 
fossil remains of some extinct animals, and it has been pro- 
posed to construct upon them a new fossil genus to be desig- 
nated "Megistosaurus." (Greatest of all lizards.) 

In a verbal communication, which I had occasion to make 
to the Academy of Natural Sciences, some months since, 
before I had an opportunity of examining these remnants, 
I offered it as my opinion, (judging from the descriptions 
which I had received concerning this subject, from persons 
unacquainted with natural history,) that they were the re- 
mains of some large Cetaceous animal. 

On a late visit to Baltimore, I enjoyed the opportunity of 
a particular examination of these specimens, and was grati- 
fied to learn, that the opinions which I had previously formed 
were correct. 

On the first view, it was very easy to perceive that the 
bones were not fossil, but that they were portions of the 
skeleton of the recent spermaceti whale, " Physeter macro- 
cephalus.' 1 '' Indeed the situation, or geological relations of 
these bones would preclude the possibility of their being 

The remains of three different individuals were distin- 
guishable, and the following parts were noticed.— The 
largest portion consists of the superior maxillary bone of the 
left side — the total length of which, measured in the direc- 
tion of its curvature exteriorly, is seventeen feet three inches, 
the greatest breadth thirteen inches ; there are belonging to 
the same animal seven dorsal vertebrae, six lumbar, and five 
caudal, with two ribs, all in a perfect state of preservation, 

The os humeri, radius and ulna, have belonged to another 

Intelligence and Miscellanies. 187 

whale of much smaller dimensions. A cervical vertebra. 
and the lower jaw of a very young whale-calf were also ob- 
served. The teeth, several in number, from the lower jaw 
of the large individual, were detached and slightly broken 
at their bases ; the largest measures six inches in length and 
six and a half in circumference. 

The long process of bone, or " horn'''' as it has been called 
by several observers, is a mutilated portion of some of the fa- 
cial bones, erroneously attached to a process on the upper 
and outer side of the large bone. 

On comparing the large bone, with the same portion in 
the specimen of the head of a similar animal in the cabinet 
of the Acad, of Nat. Sc. Philadelphia, known to have been 
thirty feet in length, (and to have yielded eighteen or twenty 
barrels of oil,) — and on taking the comparative measure- 
ments, the animal whose remains we are discussing, is de- 
monstrated to have been about fifty three feet in length. 

The average sizeof the common spermaceti whale is from 
forty to sixty feet ; they inhabit the polar regions principal- 
ly, but are sometimes found in the temperate regions. The 
Physeter trumpo (Desne.) which according to Linnaeus and 
Cuvier, is only a variety of the P. macrocephalus, is an in- 
habitant of the coast of Bermuda and of North America. 

The skeleton of the head of the P. macrocephalus is fig- 
ured by Baron Cuvier, Oss. foss. vol. 5. pt. 1. pi. 34. 

P. S. — I have lately discovered the remains of a huge 
Megatherium, in New Jersey, nine miles south east of Phi- 
ladelphia, in a marl pit, on the farm of I. Tod, Esq. of Phila. 
some account of which, I propose shortly to publish. 

4. Teeth of the Mastodon. — Among the numerous pub- 
lished accounts of places in which remains of the Masto- 
don have been found, we believe that few have been named 
in the eastern states.* 

We have now the pleasure of stating a fact of that kind. 
During the excavation of the Farmington canal near the 
village of Cheshire in Connecticut, about thirteen miles 
north from New Haven, there were found, the last summer, 
three or four large molar teeth of the mammoth. Being bu- 
ried in diluvial gravel, where there had probably never been 
any putrescent matter, they were almost in the condition of 

* Since writing this memorandum we are reminded that some remains of the 
Mammoth were found in Sharon, Connecticut, a good many years ago. 

188 Intelligence and Miscellanies. 

recent teeth in a state of extreme dryness ;* they had belong- 
ed to an old animal, for the enamel and the processes were 
much worn and brightly polished by grinding ; the enamel 
was of a brilliant white and very firm, but the proper osseous 
structure beneath, although white as snow, was so porous and 
tender, that the least force was sufficient to crush it to pow- 
der. It had a distinct columnar structure and a smell like 
dry magnesia. The extreme dryness of the teeth, was proba- 
bly the reason why they were easily crushed, in a frolic, in 
which some jolly Hibernian Canal diggers threw one of their 
number upon the grinders and they broke to pieces. Some 
research was made, but no other bones were found as the op- 
erations of the canal in this quarter did not require deep dig- 

New York Times, July 25, 1827. 

Mammoth. — In excavating the Morris Canal, near Schoo- 
ley's Mountain, N. J., on the 20th inst. the skeleton of a mam- 
moth was found, about three feet beneath ths surface, in a 
remarkable state of preservation. It is stated to be enor- 
mously large, and that one of the tusks weighs one hundred 
and fifty pounds. ( ?) Mr. Peter C. Bowne, who has pur- 
chased the skeleton, says, that the grinders look remarkably 
fresh, though they may have lain buried a thousand years. 
The following description of these bodies is given in the De- 
mocratic Press : — 

The inferior maxillary or lower jaw bone, measured be- 
tween the outer extremities of the condiloid processes, or at 
the back part of the jaw bone, three feet six inches, from the 
anterior to the posterior part of the bone, three feet eight 
inches. The foramen, which serves for the passage of the 
artery, vein and nerve from which the teeth, &c. receive their 
supply, is two inches in diameter, which would admit the 
blood vessels, (though not one tenth as large as some other,) 
to have been larger than the largest blood vessel in a horse. 
The teeth are entire; the enamel on them is sound and perfect, 
and of a shining bright, blue veined, marble color. The 
dimensions of one of them taken on the grinding sur- 
face, were three and a half inches wide, and seven long, and 
it weighed four pounds. The tusk measured two feet in cir- 
cumference, and seven in length, and from appearances, we 
should suppose it to have been of a much greater length. 

* We axe told, however, that the place was moist. 

Intelligence and Miscellanies. 189 

One of the vertebrae, measured seven and a half inches 
across the body, and between the extremities of the transverse 
processes fifteen inches. The scapula or shoulder blade 
measured three feet in length, and two in breadth ; articula- 
ting surface ten inches in diameter — thigh bone two feet 
ten inches in length, twenty inches in circumference ; its 
round head received into the acetabulum or socket of the 
hip joint, in circumference, measured two feet six inches. 
Articulating surface of the fore knee joint measured in cir- 
cumference three feet six inches. Examined this 20th of 
July, 1827. Thos. P. Stewart. 

5. Life Preservers — Cloth impervious to air and water, 
6fC. — We are informed, that after a great variety of experi- 
ments, Dr. Comstock of Hartford, has found a composition* 
which will render cloth and leather, and other substances 
impervious to water. Colored cloth, as silk or cotton does 
not show the water-proof composition on the one side when 
it is placed on the other, so that cloaks, or other articles of 
dress look equally well after being made water-proof. Shoes, 
boots and other articles have been in use more than a year, 
and still retain their imperviousness. Several canal engi- 
neers have pantaloons made with feet of this cloth, by which 
they are enabled to wade in the water for hours or for the 
whole day, without getting wet. 

This cloth, being impervious to air an well as water, has 
been employed for the construction of " Life preservers," 
for those who may be exposed to the hazard of drowning. 
The life preserver consists of a bag of the water-proof cloth 
put together with the water-proof composition, and conse- 
quently without sewing, by which it is rendered air tight, 
and so strong as to bear the pressure of two or three hun- 
dred pounds when blown up, without bursting.! This bag- 
is about one foot wide, and long enough to reach around the 
body of the wearer, and is tied with strings in front. It is 
furnished with straps, which keep it firmly fixed under the 
arms, and a stop cock by which it is blown up after it is put 
on. It may be put on and worn under the clothes, and in 
time of danger blown up in one minute. It contains air 
enough to keep a person suspended in the water, full head 

* Of which caoutchouc is understood to be the basis. — Ed. 
t Two persons have often tried the experiment of sitting m\ one of them at 
She same time. 

1 90 Intelligence and Miscellanies. 

and shoulders above that element. Chlorine destroys the 
peculiar smell. 

Dr. C. is making preparations to manufacture this cloth, 
for dresses, life preservers, &c. on a large scale. He has 
secured a patent from government, and expects the ensuing 
year to supply the Steam Boats of the Ohio, and Mississippi 
with the life securing machines. 

6. Vermont Manganese. — A few tons may be obtained of 
Mr. Isaac Doolittle, Bennington iron works. If this be of 
the same quality as some received a few years since from that 
place, at the laboratory of Yale College, it may be recom- 
mended with confidence, as that affords very pure oxigen 
gas. — Editor. 

7. Geological Notice. — T. D wight Eaton, a son of Prof. 
Eaton, will collect and deliver suits of geological specimens, 
correctly labelled, including all the general strata and varie- 
ties named in the synopsis published in this number of the 
journal, on the following conditions. Specimens all to be 
two inches across in both directions, and of a suitable thick- 
ness. If he receives twenty responsible subscribers, (before 
the first day of next August,) at $25 per suit, regularly cased. 
If thirty subscribers, at $20. If fifty, at $15. If seventy, 
at $12,50. If one hundred, at $10. Subscriptions are to 
be by letter, post paid, directed to T. Dwight Eaton, Troy, 
N. Y. with directions whether to be delivered at Albany, Bos- 
ton, New Haven, New York, Philadelphia, or Washington. 
The boxes of specimens will be delivered at the above places, 
the first day of next December, if encouraged, and a letter 
sent to each subscriber, giving notice where to send the 
money in payment, and to receive the specimens. Each box 
will contain seventy-five specimens, and a colored synopsis 
of the Nomenclature. 

8. Proceedings of the Lyceum of Natural History, N. York. 

(Continued from Vol. XIII. p. 381.) 

April 1827. — Dr. Van Rensselaer read a paper on the 
larva of an insect passed through the urethra of a female, 
with several analogous cases. (See this Jour. vol. 13. p. 229.) 

Dr. Mitchill presented a parasitic animal, about twelve 
mehes long, found in the liver of a cod — the organ being 

Intelligence and Miscellanies. 191 

perfectly sound. The same gentleman presented specimens 
of vegetable milk, from the vicinity of Rio Chico, S. America. 

Mr. J. Cozzens offered a suite of geological specimens 
from Rhode Island. 

Dr. Swift presented specimens of bituminous coal from 
Tioga Co. N. Y. This coal, which, since the message of 
Gov. Clinton to the legislature of New York in January last, 
has attracted much notice, is an important discovery, and 
will prove highly valuable in domestic economy. It con- 
tains about 65 carbon, 30 bitumen, and between 4 and 5 of 
earthy impurities — not differing essentially from the best 
Liverpool coal. (See vol. xiii, pp. 32 and 381 of this Jour.) 

Mr. Seth Hunt presented specimens illustrating the geolo- 
gy of Alabama. 

A valuable collection of dried plants was received through 
the Cor. Sec, from Dr. Steudel of Wurtemburgh, in Ger- 

Mr. Barnes read a paper on magnetic polarity, detailing 
some interesting experiments. (See this Jour. vol. 13. p. 70.) 

Mr. Cooper presented a suite of lavas from Vesuvius — 
and a collection of volcanic products from France, Italy and 
Germany, with specimens of the building stones anciently 
employed in Italy and Egypt. 

May. — Prof I. A. Smith read a detailed account of the 
anatomy of the Proteus of the Lakes ; with remarks on the 
Syren Intermedia. (See An. Lye. vol. 2. p. 259.) 

Dr. Van Rensselaer read a paper on Oolite, as found in 
Alabama. It seems to correspond with the lowest division 
of Oolite, as described by Conybeare and Philips, and known 
in England as " coral rag" — Its equivolent on the continent 
of Europe is known as the " Stonesfield formation. " 

Mr. Gale presented minerals from Massachusetts — and 
Mr. Cozzens a suite of Lavas from St. Helena ; and radia- 
ted asbestos, serpentine and granite from this island in place. 

Maj. Delafield presented fossil organic remains from lake 
Huron, and the western portion of the state of New York. 
Also five specimens of Alcyonium from Warminster, (Eng- 
land,) exhibiting a striking similarity to the alcyonium lately 
found in the green sand near Annapolis. 

192 Intelligence and Miscellanies. 

Dr. Mitchill read a description of a new species of fish, 
presented by him at a former meeting, which he proposed 
to call " Diodon carinatus.' 1 '' (See Ann. of the Lye. vol 2. 
p. 264.) He read also a paper detailing some experiments 
made with a fluid, prepared for the destruction of injurious 
insects inhabiting trees as caterpillars, &c. The same gen- 
tleman exhibited a skull from Chili, exhibiting the peculiar 
artificial flattening of the occiput. 

A collection of Alpine plants from the valley of Chamou- 
ny, was received from Dr. N. Niles — and minerals from Mr. 
Davis of Westfield, Mass. 

June. — A collection of minerals, reptiles and insects, was 
received from Dr. Porter, of Plainfield, Mass. 

Dr. Mitchill read a paper, containing some additional re- 
marks on the solanum laurentii, with drawings. This pota- 
toe, which Dr. M. calls St. Lorenzo potatoe, has been placed 
under Solanum, as S. montanum, by Ruis andPavon, (Flora 
Peruv :*) and as S. tuberosum minus, by Feuillee, (Obs.) 
who observed its habitat. Dr. Hooker places it as Wither- 
ingia Montana, Mountain Witheringia, or St Lorenzo pota- 
toe. The specimens of Dr. M. were brought from the Moun- 
tains of St. Lorenzo island, in Callao Bay. They are found 
on the Maine also. 

Dr. Van Rensselaer presented serpentine, amianthus, and 
granite, found, in situ, on the island of New York. Also 
some primitive rocks in a state of decomposition, from the 
same island. 

This locality of serpentine, which hitherto seems to have 
escaped general observation, is only three miles from the 
city, and covers an extent of perhaps forty acres, near to the 
Hudson River. Serpentine bowlders have been repeatedly 
found on the eastern parts of the island, and were probably 
Garried from the present locality. Observation has not yet 
determined whether this is an extensive bed — or whether it is 
connected with the Hoboken and Staten Island range of ser- 
pentine, in a line with which it lies : and of which it probably 
forms a part. The rock, if properly quarried, would, in all 
probability, yield a stone valuable for economical purposes, 
in building, fencing, &c. 

* A splendid copy of which has lately been presented to our library. 

Intelligence and Miscellanies, 193 

Dr. Mitchill read a paper on superfcetation. He read also 
an account, (with drawings,) of a moluscous animal from 
the Pacific, not hitherto described, and which he names 
Quadripennis Pictus. 

Mr, McAuley, of Herkimer, presented a suite of specimens 
illustrating the mineralogy and geology of the valley of the 

Capt. Sloat, U. S. N. presented Asterias Helianthus from 
Chili, fossil casts from Gallipagos Islands, a series of volcanic 
minerals from the island of Juan Fernandez, and minerals 
and fossils from Antigua. 

Capt. Leconte presented Testudo reticulata from Georgia. 

July.— Mr. Cooper read a paper on the habitat of the 
schizea pusella. (See An. of the Lye. vol. ii. p. 266.) 

Mr. Barnes offered some remarks on the Proteus of the 
Lakes, and presented specimens of steatite containing crys- 
tallized bitter spar, from Marlborough, Vermont. 

Dr. Mitchill read a paper on a. fossil skull, from Folly land- 
ing, Accomac county, Virginia. 

The corresponding secretary read a letter from Mr. Thos. 
Dixon, accompanying a splendid collection of minerals, from 
Cumberland and Derbyshire, England. 

Capt. Sloat, U. S. N. presented "Certaine testimonies 
concerning King Arthure, and his conquests of the north 
regions, taken out of the histories of the kings of Brittaine, 
written by Galfridus monamutensis, newly printed at Hedle- 
berg, 1587." This copy was obtained at Pitcairne's Island, 
where it had been saved from the English frigate Bounty, 
Capt. Bligh. 

An abstract was read of " a memoir on the posterior mem« 
bers of ophidian reptiles,'''' by Prof. Mayer. 

Prof. J. A. Smith read a paper on the Syren Intermedia. 

Mr. Cooper read a paper on the osteology of the megathe- 
rium, from Georgia. (See An. of the Lye. vol. ii. p. 207.) 

Dr. De Kay read " observations on a fossil skull, in the 
Gabinet of the Lyceum, belonging to the genus Bos, from the 
banks of the Mississippi." (See An. of the Lye. vol. ii. p. 280.) 

Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 25 

194 Intelligence and Miscellanies. 

August. — A report was read on the fossil skull found in 
Accomac county, Virginia. (See An. of the Lye. vol. ii. 
p. 271.) 

Dr. Goldfuss' work " on the petrifactions in the Museum 
of the University of Bonn," was received. 

The corresponding secretary read a letter from the Belfast 
Natural History Society, accompanying a cask of minerals 
from the Giants Causeway. 

Two boxes of insects, beautifully prepared, were received 
from Dr. Duval, of Geneva, in Switzerland. 

Dr. Mitchill presented mineral specimens from the state of 
New York, and several fossil echini, in chalk, from England. 

Dr. Torrey read notes on inflammable mineral substances, 
including a report on the amber found in excavating the Dela- 
ware and Chesapeake Canal. 

9. Pressure of water at great depths in the ocean. 

Extract of a letter to the Editor, from Prof. Lardner Vanuxem, dated Ship Vir- 
ginia, of New York, for La Vera Cruz, January 11, 1828. Latitude 28 u 66 ? 
Longitude 73° 16. 

Dear Sir — I wish to call your attention to two experi- 
ments made this day, which may not only interest yourself, 
but likewise some of the readers of your valuable journal. 

Doubtless you are well aware of the numerous popular 
experiments, which have been made at sea, by lowering empty 
bottles well corked, to the depth of one hundred or more 
fathoms ; such bottles, be the mode in which the corks have 
been secured, what it may, do invariably, as the experi- 
menters have stated, come up full of water ; one instance 
however was related to me, in which a portion of air still re- 
mained, or in other words, the bottle was not quite filled with 
water. In most instances the corks were thrust into the in- 
side ; in some, no change was observable. Experiments 
have been likewise made by well corking a bottle of fresh 
water, and lowering it into the sea, and on examination, the 
fresh water was found to be replaced by salt water. 

Being convinced that the presence of water in these popu- 
lar experiments, arose from the corks being forced into the 

Intelligence and Miscellanies. 195 

bottles by the pressure of the water in some instances, and 
from the permeability of most corks if not all of them, to 
water when so greatly compressed in others ; I was determi- 
ned before I went to sea, to prepare a bottle which would 
prove the correctness of the opinion just stated. 

I had the top of the mouth of a strong porter bottle ground, 
so as to fit a thick piece of glass equally well ground ; the 
two surfaces being made as parallel to each other as could 
be obtained by grinding, as well as by rubbing the one upon 
the other. (The surfaces were not polished as ought to have 
been done, to produce the most perfect contact possible.) A 
cork was first put into the bottle, using great force, and the 
top then covered with tallow, likewise the ground part of the 
bottle ; and upon the two, the piece of glass was placed, 
then closely pressed to the bottle, and there properly secured 
by strong strings ; grooves having been cut into the piece of 
glass, so as to secure it to the neck of the bottle. 

The bottle was then fixed securely to a sounding line, to 
which also a second bottle, prepared in the ordinary manner, 
was attached. This bottle was provided with a good cork, 
much larger than the mouth of the bottle, for it projected 
considerably over it ; great force having been used, to make 
it enter. 

The log with its bottles, was then cast into the sea, (there 
being a calm,) and one hundred and ten fathoms of line let 
out. After being down a few minutes, the line was drawn in, 
and the bottles examined. The bottle secured in the com- 
mon way was full of water, the cork having been driven in, 
being in the lower part of the neck of the bottle. The other 
bottle exhibited no visible change, all things remaining as 
they were before being put into the ocean, with the excep- 
tion of about a dozen drops of water, which must have passed, 
from the circumstances related, between the piece of glass, 
and the mouth of the bottle, penetrating the tallow and 
the cork. 

That water should find its way through cork, when sub- 
jected to a pressure of six hundred and sixty perpendicular 
feet of water, does not appear extraordinary, when we reflect 
that many kinds of wood are permeable to mercury, when 
acted upon by a pressure, not so great as that of our atmos- 
phere, as in the common experiment of the air pump ; mer- 
cury being placed on a piece of wood, (its fibres being ver- 
tical,) covering the top of the receiver. 

196 Intelligence and Miscellanies. 

The instances related of bottles containing fresh water 
having their contents replaced by salt water, are owing to 
the same principle as the replacing of the air of the bottles 
by sea water ; for fresh water being of less density than salt 
water, it would pass out, to make way for a denser fluid, or 
the same kind of fluid, made denser by saline substances. 
It is my intention to repeat this experiment during the next 
calm, should one occur. 

The most, simple mode of trying the experiment which I 
made, would have been with a bottle whose mouth was 
hermetically sealed. The want of time before I left New 
York, prevented me from having one prepared. 

Note. — Professor Vanuxem, when these experiments were 
made, was on his way to the city of Mexico, where he will 
reside for two years. He may be addressed through Behr- 
man & Muller, La Vera Cruz. — Ed. 

10. Effects of friction on board of Ships of War. 

Extract of a letter from Lt. James Glynn, of the U. S. Navy, in answer te 
certain enquiries by the Editor. 

New Haven, Conn. Nov. 16, 1827. 

Sir — On board of our national ships of war, where des- 
patch in performing any evolution is a consideration second 
to safety only, it not unfrequently occurs that the pullies are 
destroyed by the friction of the sheave, or wheel on the pin, 
or axle, about which it revolves ; or against the shell or case 
that contains it. In one instance I have known fire produc- 
ed in this way to break out into a full distinct blaze. On this 
occasion, 1 think iron was in contact with iron, the tempera- 
ture of the air was agreeable, and the pully or tackle had 
been in active operation for perhaps half an hour, when a 
heavy boat was attached to it for the purpose of being hoist- 
ed on board, and a velocity of revolution given to a wheel 
of four or five inches diameter, equal to what might be com- 
municated by the seamens running fore and aft the deck, 
with the chord of the pully in their hands. The effect was 
so unexpected, as to put at an imminent risk, both property 
and lives. 

Similar, and nearly allied to this is the fact, that on board 
of large vessels, anchoring in high winds, the friction of the 
cable round the bitts, (windlass of the merchant vessels,) is 

Intelligence and Miscellanies. 197 

sometime so great as to render a resort to water necessary 
to prevent the bitts from taking fire. I have seen but one 
instance of this kind, but have heard of many.* 

1 1 . Valuable collection in Geology and Mineralogy. — We 
learn that G. W. Featherstonhaugh, Esq. has recently intro- 
duced into this country an extensive and various collection 
of fossils and of minerals. 

A considerable part of them belonged to the cabinet of 
Mr. Parkinson, which has been sold. 

Mr. Featherstonhaugh has obtained fine specimens of 
the Icthyosaurus ; fossil fish very perfect ; fossil plants of 
great beauty and variety, and many rare fossils. Indeed, he 
has brought, as we are informed, a most complete collec- 
tion of fossils from all the European beds, from the first ap- 
pearance of organic remains in the lowest deposits, to the 
highest conditions of zoological existence in the superior 
strata of the tertiary ; also a complete series of fossils from 
Tilgate Forest, to illustrate all Mr. Mantell's superb works ; 
these specimens were obtained principally from Mr. Man- 
tell himself. That wonderful animal, the Iguanadon, a rep- 
tile about eighty feet long and twelve feet high, with teeth 
like the Iguana, was found in those beds of Tilgate, and de- 
scribed by Mr. Mantell. There is also a fine series of all 
the chalk fossils found to the present day, as well as of the 
singular and various appearances presented by flints. The 
organic remains from the lias, both in Yorkshire and Lyme 
in Dorsetshire, will be found highly interesting to the friends 
of geology. Mr. F. has also the crinoidal family, to illus- 
trate the famous work of Mr. Miller of Bristol, ecrinites 
and pentacrinites — with a complete series of the apio-cri- 
nites. But what will be extremely interesting here, is the 
capital series of osseus remains of the varieties of animals 
found in diluvial deposits in the various caves ; a branch of 
geology illustrated and brought to light by the genius and el- 
oquence of that extraordinary person, Dr. Buckland. Mr. 
F. travelled a great deal with Dr. Buckland ; they visited 
in company the celebrated cave at Torguay, from whence 
Mr. F. brought the bones of eleven different animals : all 

* Recently, the axletree of an ox cart, heavily laden, took fire when passing 
in the streets of New Haven, and required water to extinguish it. — Ed. 

198 Intelligence and Miscellanies. 

the circumstances of this cave confirm Professor Buckland's 
opinions, as expresed in the Reliquiae Diluvianae, of which 
we gave an analysis and review in vol. 8, of this Journal. 
On various occasions we have urged the prosecution of sim- 
ilar inquiries here, and we repeat that we should be glad to 
see the attention of our geologists roused to the importance 
of this subject, as we have numberless caves to explore — 
and bones we must find, or draw some curious conclusions 
from their absence. Professor Eaton has given some valua- 
ble information on this subject, (vol. 12, p. 19, of this Jour- 
nal) from which it would appear that hyenas never existed 
in this country, but much remains to be done to complete 
the investigation. 

We understand that Mr. Featherstonhaugh's collection of 
minerals is a well selected one, and that he has most of the 
rare specimens up to the present day. 

12. American Porcelain. — We have great pleasure in con- 
gratulating our fellow citizens, on the complete success 
which has attended the effort to establish a manufactory of 
porcelain, in the city of Philadelphia. 

From the manufactory of Messrs. Tucker & Hulme, we 
have received specimens in the state of biscuit, baked — of 
the ware, baked and glazed — and of the ware, gilded and 
painted, the sight of which must afford pleasure to every 
friend of American arts, and especially of an art so difficult, 
and which is scarcely a century old even in Europe, although 
practised for many centuries in China and Japan. 

The porcelain of Philadelphia is very beautiful, in all the 
principal particulars — in symmetry of modelling— in purity 
of whiteness — in the characterestic translucence, in smooth- 
ness and lustre, and in the delicacy and richness of the gild- 
ing and enamel painting. That it rivals the finest produc- 
tions of Sevres itself, it is not necessary to assert ; but it 
certainly gives every assurance, that if properly supported, 
it will not fail to meet every demand of utility and taste, 
which this great and growing country may present. 

We pretend not to judge of the political and commercial 
circumstances which may influence the success of this man- 
ufactory ; the art now stands forth in this country, in all the 
attractions of utility and beauty, and we sincerely hope that 
it may prove as lucrative to the proprietors of the establish- 
ment, as their productions are honorable to their skill and 

Intelligence and Miscellanies. 199 

enterprise. It appears from Mr. Carpenter's memoir in 
the early part of this number, that the raw material is very 
abundant, at no great distance from Philadelphia, and it 
is well known that it is found in many parts of the United 

1 3. Meteor of a green color. 

Communicated by Mr. B. D. Silliman, in a letter dated N. York, March 1, 1828, 

On the night of the 11th of February, between 1 1 and 12 
o'clock, as I was crossing the East river, between this city 
and Long Island, I observed a beautiful meteor which was 
visible for about the space of two seconds. Its course was 
from a point perhaps 5° below the zenith, toward the horizon 
in a N. E. direction. It described an arc of perhaps 20° — 
when it apparently exploded but without any report that I 
could hear. Its color was a singularly pure grass green, of 
a light shade ; the trail which it left was of the same color, 
and so were the scintillations which accompanied its appa- 
rent explosion. The latter were distinct, like those accom- 
panying the bursting of a rocket, but by no means so numer- 
ous. Two gentlemen who were in the boat with me at the 
time, also saw it. 

14. Southern Review. — We have received the first num- 
ber in time only to glance over its pages. The subjects 
treated of in this number are sufficiently various. 

Classical learning, agriculture, mathematics, craniology, 
mineralogy, history, political economy, and the Colonization 
Society, are among the topics presented to our considera- 
tion ; and the discussions to which they give rise, afford abun- 
dant evidence of talents and learning. The writers are not 
satisfied to merely intimate what they think ; they declare 
their opinions boldly and the reasons of them. Though we 
may not adopt as our own, all the sentiments of this review, 
yet we wish the work success, and promise ourselves both 
entertainment and instruction in its perusal. 

15. Asbestos. — Joseph Morehouse, New Milford, Conn, 
has three or four hundred weight of asbestos, and can obtain 
any quantity of it, should it be wanted for experiments in the 
arts, or other purposes. It is found in the quarries of primi- 
tive white granular limestone, which abound in that region, 
(See vol. 2, p. 222, of this Journal.) 


Intelligence and Miscellanies. 

1 6. Engraving mid description of the Hydro-Pneumatic Cis- 
tern, used in the Laboratory of the University of Pennsyl- 
vania ; by R. Hare, M. D. Professor of Chemistry. 

Fig. 1. 

This engraving is intended to convey an idea of my Hydro- 
Pneumatic Cistern. It is constructed upon the principle of 
one contrived by Professor Silliman and myself, when we 
operated together in 1 803, and which we have used under 
various modifications, since that time. 

The figure, here given, is such as would be presented to 
the eye, were the front of the cistern removed. 

A A, are two shelves formed by two inverted chests, which 
are used as cells to contain gas : B is a sliding shelf, over a 
deep place between the shelves A A, which is called the well 
of the cistern. 
Fig. 2. 

Fig. 2 affords a view of the lower 
side of the sliding shelf, in the wood 
of which it will be seen that there 
are two excavations, converging 
into two holes, one of which is 
seen at h, fig. 1 . This shelf is loaded with an ingot of lead 
at L, to prevent it from floating in the water of the cistern. 

Besides the chests above mentioned, there are two others, 
C C, near the bottom of the cistern, but not so close as to 
prevent the water from passing freely into and out of them. 

Intelligence and Miscellanies. 201 

In front of the cistern may be seen an inverted brass kettle, 
held firmly to a wooden plank by straps and iron screws. 
This kettle covers a circular hole in the plank. The hole is 
somewhat less in diameter than the kettle inside, so as to 
leave a bearing for the brim of the latter. Between the brim 
of the kettle and the margin of the hole, cut in the plank, 
the margin of a disk of sole leather is included, at about half 
an inch from its circumference all round, in such a manner as 
4o form an air tight juncture. The leather is perforated at 
the centre, and is pressed between the summits of two per- 
forated leaden hemispheres, by a rod of iron which passes 
through the perforations in them, and in the leather. The 
compression is effected by means of a screw and nut, and a 
shoulder on the iron rod. The rod thus fastened to the 
leather disk, is connected with the bent lever, b, I, which is 
carried under the cistern, and being bent at right angles, is 
flattened so as to form a treadle. When the treadle is forced 
down by the foot, the arm connected with the rod rises, and 
causes the leather to be bulged up into the kettle ; when the 
pressure of the foot ceases, the weight, w;, suspended from 
the lever, causes the descent of the rod, and the leather is 
bulged downwards, so as to cause air to enter the kettle, 
and to be expelled from it, successively. 

Into the bore of the cock, which extends from the upper 
surface of the kettle to the arched pipe, h k, there is a valve 
opening outwards. Within the pipe in the form of an elbow 
on top of the kettle in front of this cock, there is a valve 
opening inwards : it is through the valve last mentioned, that 
the ingress of air takes place, while the egress is effected 
through the other. 

In order to put this apparatus into operation, the kettle,* 
cistern and upper air cells must be filled with water, until it 
is about an inch deep on the shelves, A A, the lower air cells 
remaining full of air. Bell glasses, or other vessels, being 
plunged in the well, filled with water, and inverted and pla- 
ced, while full, over one of the holes, h, on the sliding shelf, 
B, are afterwards easily filled with any gas ; for any gaseous 
fluid escaping from a retort beak, or from a tube, will be ea- 
sily caught in the cavity, excavated in the wood of the lower 

* It is requisite to the operation of the bellows, that the kettle be filled with 
water first, otherwise the air remaining in it, will, by its elasticity, diminish 
the effect. 

Vol. XIV.— No. 1. 26 

202 Intelligence and Miscellanies. 


side of the shelf, and thence rising through the hole, into the 
inverted vessel, will occupy it to the exclusion of the water. 

Having filled one vessel with gas, it may be transferred to 
another, filled with water, and inverted upon the shelf, B, 
by depressing the brim of the vessel containing the gas, un- 
der the shelf, and then inclining it so as to allow the gas to 
escape gradually into the cavity under the shelf, whence it 
rises into the other vessel, as already described. 

When the air cells under the shelves, A A, are to be filled 
with gas, a flexible leaden pipe, passing from a vessel con- 
taining the generating materials, is curved into a hook, and 
placed so that the orifice may be within the cell. As the gas 
enters the cell, the water must of course be displaced from 
it, and would in consequence overflow the cistern, were not 
the cock, /, opened. 

This cock communicates with the bore of the arched pipe, 
gg, to which it is soldered. The orifices of this pipe enter 
severally the chests, C C, so that their cavities communicate 
with each other and with the cock, /. Hence by opening 
this cock, the air may be allowed to escape from those chests 
in such quantities, as to compensate the gas introduced into 
the upper air cells. 

The gas, contained in the cells, is easily transferred to any 
vessel, by bringing it over a hole, which communicates with 
the cell, through one of the cocks, e e, in the shelves, A A. 

The vessels may be previously filled with water and inver- 
ted, but in the case of oxigen gas, if an open neck bell glass, 
or a tall cylindrical vessel, open at both ends, be placed over 
the hole, and a jet of the gas allowed to enter it, the atmos- 
pheric air being lighter, is driven out before the entering gas. 
It may be easily ascertained when the vessel is full of oxigen, 
by the greater brightness of a taper flame held over the up- 
per orifice. 

As the escape of gas from the cells, permits the subsidence 
of the water into them, it is necessary to countervail the de- 
ficiency thus produced, by the action of the bellows pump, 
formed as already mentioned, by the kettle and its appurte- 
nances, in duly replenishing the chests, C C, with air. 

17. Improved Scale of Chemical Equivalents. — Profes- 
sors Lewis C. Beck and Joseph Henry, have published an 
*' improved scale of chemical equivalents" founded upon the 
well known scale of Dr. Wollaston, which has contributed 

Foreign Literature and Science. 203 

so much " to facilitate the general study and practice of 

It is stated that, " the present scale differs from the origi- 
nal one, in the assumption of hydrogen as the radix or unity, 
and that two principal advantages arise from assuming this 
substance as the unit." 

" 1. We avoid fractitional quantities, and the whole scale, 
when the slider is properly placed, becomes a table of atom- 
ic weights." 

*' 2. These atomic numbers exhibit for the most part, in 
reference to hydrogen, the specific gravity of gases and oth- 
er chemical substances, supposed to be in an aeriform state, 
and also the combining ratios of their weights under the 
same volume." 

This scale is executed with much neatness, and we are 
happy to find that so excellent an invention will now be 
made so extensively known, in this county. 

We have had no opportunity to use this improved scale, 
but doubt not that it will be found accurate. — Ed. 

II. Foreign. 

1. Recent discovery of Fossil Bones in the eastern part 
of France, by Prof. Buckland. — The cave of Osselles has 
long been an object of curiosity, on account of its extent, 
and the brilliant stalactites with which it is decorated. Prof. 
Buckland while on a visit to this cave, perceived that it pre- 
sented all the characters of the caves of Franconia, which 
are so abundant in fossil bones. He noticed a spot where 
he thought he could perceive the bones very near to the sur- 
face, and by the aid of a hammer, he had the satisfaction to 
find his conjecture verified. The prefect of Doubs, took all 
the interest in this natural curiosity, which it merited, and 
the thorough research which he caused to be effected, proved 
that this cave is no less abundant in these interesting reli- 
quiae, than those of Franconia. 

A portion of these bones has been forwarded to Paris, 
and examined by M. Cuvier of which he says, " what has 
surprised us is, not that they belong to the ursus spelaeus, 
which naturalists call the cave bear, because they have been 
found only in caves similar to that of Osselles, but, that they 
all belong to this species." 

Thus by an exception wholly peculiar, this cave does not 

204 Foreign Literature and Science. 

contain with the bones of the bear, any remains belonging, 
either to tigers or hyenas, or to the herbivorous animals, the 
cotemporaries of these ancient races, and whose ordinary 
presence in these caves has been explained by the voracity 
of the hyenas, who are supposed to have dragged them 
thither to devour them. 

M. Cuvier supposes that these bones belonged to animals 
which have lived and died peacebly in this retreat. Their 
state of preservation does not allow the idea that they could 
have been collected together by currents of water, or in any 
other manner. They were amassed by the occupation of 
the cave, for a long series of years by this animal, and after- 
wards buried by the sand, brought thither by some great in- 
undation. — Bull. Univ. Sept. 1827. 

2. Analysis of the massive Cinnamon Stone. — M. Lau- 
gier has found the massive cinnamon stone of Ceylon to be 
composed of 

Silex, - 38 Alumine, - 19 

Lime, - 33 Ox. Iron, - 7 

He regards it as a silicate of lime and alumine, with an 
accidental portion of iron. — Ibid. 

3. Mines of Gold and Platina in the Ural Mountains. — ■ 
Nijno'i Tagil is a foundery situated forty leagues to the north 
of Jekaterinenbourg. The annual product of this place 
is one hundred and fifty thousand quintals of iron, twelve 
thousand of copper, fifty pounds of gold, and eighteen of 
platina. They are taken from a mountain of four or five 
hundred feet in elevation, composed of magnetic iron, near 
the borders of the river Tagil. Three other founderies exist 
upon the borders of the Outka : the river upon which these 
substances are transported to St. Petersburgh. Primitive 
clay slate exists here, with numerous veins of quartz in the 
direction of north and south, and inclining towards the east. 
The crest of the Ural consists of serpentine, near the mid- 
dle of which at the western foot of the mountain Pugnia, 
immediately under the soil, in the decomposing and efflores- 
cing talcose slate, is found a great quaintity of platina, ac- 
companied by gold, and rarely by native lead. At the 
north east on the contrary, the platina is found connected 
with a blue limestone in a decomposed green porphyry. At 
Kuschva (seven leagues to the north of the first place) is 
found a quantity of sodalite, in a mountain also of magnet- 

Foreign Literature and Science. 205 

ic iron ; it is compact, and crystallized in dodecahedrons, 
but more often in trapezohedrons, and accompanied by 
pyroxene. Upon the west side of the mountain, occurs an 
amygdaloidal stone, consisting entirely of massive garnet, 
with almond shaped masses of calcareous spar, and cavities 
containing crystals of scapolite. 

At three leagues distance is the little river Vitjie, which 
flows upon a bed of ophite and serpentine. These rocks are 
decomposed to many feet in depth. There have been obtain- 
ed from them nearly ten quintals of native gold. This met- 
al is found at Nerviansky in quartzy veins traversing the 
talcose slate and accompanied by iron pyrites, converted 
partly into ochre. For more than seventy leagues, in extent 
of the Ural chain, magnesia, in the form of bitter spar, is dis- 
tinctly predominant in the metallic deposits, either in veins 
or beds ; sometimes in the place of the quartz, the quantity 
of gold not being diminished. The mines of copper appear 
in the neighborhood of beds of primitive limestone, between 
these and the argillaceous schist, or the talcose slate, or else 
in the diorite. At Preobasjenskoi there is a considerable 
quantity of crystals of chromate of lead, of different modi- 
fications not in the hills of sandstone, as has been under- 
stood, but in the talcose rocks, in a talc slate, which often 
assumes a granular aspect, by its mixture with grains of 
quartz, and by the excess of magnesian limestone. Sand- 
stone is not found in the Ural, at least to the north of Jek- 
aterinenbourg. In general, in this chain of granite extending 
two hundred leagues, there are but few spots where search 
is made for the precious stones, such as the amethysts, the 
topazes, the beryls, &c. — Ibid. 

4. Sapphire in the Emery of Naxos. — Fragments of em- 
ery from Naxos were ground between two plates of tem- 
pered steel, and the powder was washed with oil. The 
first powder which was precipitated having been examined 
with a very powerful magnifying glass, was found to contain 
perfectly regular crystals of sapphire. — Ibid. 

5. A new combustible gas. — In the philosophical trans- 
actions for 1827, Dr. Thomson describes a gas which may 
be obtained by slightly heating together in a flask 1| oz. 
muriatic acid, half an oz. nitric acid of commerce, and half 
an oz. of pyroxylic spirit, all by measure, and collecting it in 
glass jars over mercury. It burns with a lively bluish white 

206 Foreign Literature and Science. 

flame — is absorbed by water and oil of turpentine, but not 
by acids or alkalies — and is composed of 

1 atom hydrogen, - - 0.125 
1 atom carbon, - - .750 
1| atom chlorine, - - 6.750 7.625 

Dr. Thomson, in hi* " First Principles of Chemistry ," 
pointed out a remarkable property of the compound of one 
atom carbon, and one atom hydrogen, denominated carbo- 
hydrogen, which forms a variety of gases, differing from each 
other in the number of integrant particles of carbo-hydro- 
gen which a single volume of the gas or vapour contains. 
The new combustible gas, called by its discoverer, sesqui- 
chloride of carho-hydrogen, (abstracting the chlorine) con- 
tains only one integrant particle of carbo-hydrogen in a vol- 
ume ; defiant gas contains two ; the oil gas vapour three ; 
sulphuric ether vapour (abstracting the water) four ; while 
the vapour of naptha contains six integrant particles. The 
existence of the simple carbo-hydrogen, was merely hypo- 
thetical, till the discovery of the present gas has given us an 
example of its actual existence. Thus the only doubtful 
part of this reasoning has been shown to be correct. This 
circumstance gives an importance to its discovery, to which 
it would not otherwise be entitled. 

The same volume of the Phil. Trans, also embraces a very 
important article upon the compounds of chromium, and a de- 
tail of some experiments upon gold by the same gentleman. 

6. Voyage to the Eastern Seas— in 1816, <£*e. by Copt. 
Basil Hall, R. N. F. R. S. — At the last moment, before 
closing the present number, we have found time, hastily to 
peruse this very interesting volume. We feel much obliged 
to its respectable author — now on a visit to this country — for 
permitting the publication of a revised edition, for the bene- 
fit of the young people of America, and doubt not that it 
will afford them as much pleasure and instruction, as it had 
before imparted, to those of England. It is however a work 
in which the mature and the young — the parent and child 
can equally participate. It is replete with interesting and val- 
uable information ; it is disinguished by sterling good sense 
— acute observation — fine graphic descriptions of scenery 
and manners — an elevated moral bearing, and great feli- 
city of expression. We rarely read so good a book of 
travels, and we trust that the publishers will find encourage- 
ment to prosecute their design of reprinting captain Hall's 
travels in South America. 

Foreign Literature and Science. 207 

We have now neither time nor space to analyse the vol- 
ume before us. Indeed, most of its topics are not particu- 
larly appropriate to this work, although it would not be diffi- 
cult to occupy some of our pages very profitably by citing 
from it, facts relating to science, and to various topics of 
useful knowledge. We shall however confine our citations 
to a single passage, relating to the coral reefs, and the little 
animals by which they are formed. 

" The examination of a coral reef during the different stages 
of one tide is particularly interesting. When the sea has left it 
for some time it becomes dry, and appears to be a compact rock, 
exceedingly hard and ragged ; but no sooner does the tide rise 
again and the waves begin to wash over it, than millions of coral 
worms protrude themselves from holes on the surface which 
were before quite invisible. These animals are of a great va- 
riety of shapes and sizes, and in such prodigious numbers, that 
in a short time the whole surface of the rock appears to be alive 
and in motion. The most common of the worms at Loo-Choo 
was in the form of a star, with arms from four to six inches long, 
which it moved about with a rapid motion in all directions, prob- 
ably in search of food. Others were so sluggish that they were 
often mistaken for pieces of the rock ; these were generally of a 
dark color, and from four to five inches long, and two or three 
round. When the rock was broken from a spot near the level 
of high water, it was found to be a hard solid stone, but if any 
part of it were detached at a level to which the tide reached 
every day, it was discovered to be full of worms of all different 
lengths and colors, some being as fine as thread and several feet 
long, generally of a very bright yellow, and sometimes of a 
blue color ; while others resembled snails, and some were not 
unlike lobsters or prawns in shape, but soft, and not above two 
inches long. 

" The growth of coral ceases when the worm which creates 
it is no longer exposed to the washing of the tide. Thus a reef 
rises in the form of a gigantic cauliflower, till its top has gained 
the level of the highest tides, above which the worm has no 
power to carry its operations, and the reef, consequently, no 
longer extends itself upwards. The surrounding parts, howev- 
er, advance in succession till they reach the surface, where they 
also must stop. Thus, as the level of the highest tide is the 
eventual limit to every part of the reef, a horizontal field comes 
to be formed coincident with that plane, and perpendicular on 
all sides. The reef, however, continually increases, and being 
prevented from going higher, must extend itself laterally in all 
directions ; and this growth being probably as rapid at the upper 
edge as it is lower down, the steepness of the face of the reef 

208 Foreign Literature and Science. 

is preserved ; and it is this circumstance which renders this spe- 
cies of rocks so dangerous in navigation. In the first place, they 
are seldom seen above the water ; and in the next, their sides 
are so abrupt that a ship's bows may strike against the rock be- 
fore any change of soundings, indicates the approach of danger." 

But, the most remarkable topic, which this volume presents, 
relates rather to moral than to physical causes. The inhab- 
itants of the Loo-Choo islands, who occupy a principal 
place in the book, seem like a different race of beings from 
the rest of mankind. Destitute of arms and strangers to war — 
without money, and ignorant of its use — not tempted by gold 
and silver, which they regard with indifference ; highly acute 
and intelligent, but amiable and gentle, even to the extreme 
of kindness — bestowing on strangers, provisions, both ani- 
mal and vegetable, and all the bounties of their fruitful isl- 
ands, without recompense, although pressed upon them in 
every form ; — refusing even presents, except at last, a few 
articles, by way of remembrance ; comfortable and happy 
in the midst of a country cultivated with skill and care-and un- 
der a government apparently regal, but mild and patriarchal, 
and in a state of society, exhibiting the most perfect good 
order — affectionate to their children, who, in their turn, are 
dutiful to their parents — hospitable and convivial, but jealous 
to the extreme, of having their territory occupied and ex- 
amined by strangers, and absolutely excluding them from even 
the sight of their females, and thus evincing their wise and 
exalted estimation of their own domestic purity and peace ! 
No wonder that the description of such a people excited the 
incredulity of the acute Napoleon !* We could scarcely 
admit their existence, upon authority less respectable than 
that of Capt. Hall. 

The Loo-Chooans have, it would seem, an order of priests 
although treated with little respect, and a few traces of re- 
ligious ceremonies. 

We had thought, that the character of the Pelew Island- 
ers, as exhibited many years since, by the historian of Capt. 
Wilson's disastrous voyage, sufficiently surprising ; but the 
Loo-Chooans appear quite without a parallel, either among 
civilized or barbarous, among christian or pagan nations, 
and it must remain for future travellers to explain this strange 
anomaly in the human character. — Ed. 

* During an interview which Captain Hall, on his return from the east, had 
with the ex-emperor at St. Helena, in August 1817. 




Art. I. — Notice of the Tockoa and Tallulah FalU in Geor- 
gia ;* by A. Foster. 

Communicated for this Journal. 

In a southern excursion during the autumn of 1827, 1 vis- 
ited the Table Mountain in Pendleton, S. C. and the Toc- 
koa and Tallulah Falls in Habersham, Ga. Those only 
who have visited and contemplated this interesting section 
of our country can justly appreciate the beauty and mag- 
nificence, and the wildness and sublimity of the natural scene- 
ry around the southern termination of the Blue Ridge. 

It is not now in my power to gratify the curiosity of my 
northern friends, by describing every thing that delighted or 
astonished our little party of travellers. But to the admi- 
rer of his creator's works, never yet in their native richness 
and variety, described by the geographer, sketched by the ar- 
tist or sung by the poet, permit a traveller to recommend 
an excursion, along the western and mountainous border of 
North and South Carolina and Georgia. If you have im- 
agined southern scenery to be tame and uniform, your disap- 
pointment, like my own, will be most gratifying and complete. 
A brief sketch of the two principal Falls is all that will at 
this time be attempted. 

Tockoa Fall, is in a small creek of the same name, just be- 
fore it runs into the Tugaloo, one hundred and fifty miles 

* To the Editor — This sketch was written for the gratification of my north- 
ern friends. If they are pleased to learn that the section of our country so faint- 
ly described in this sketch, presents scenery of the richest and most interesting 
description, and if any of our travellers shoiddbe induced to visit the places, 
and should find, as they must find, that " the half has not been told," they 
will not regret, that I have communicated the annexed notice to your scien- 
tific Journal. 

Vol. XIV.— No. 2. i 1 

210 Notice of the Tochoa and Tallulah Falls. 

above Augusta. The perpendicular fall is one hundred and 
eighty six feet, measured by a line. It is surrounded by no 
wild scenery. The rivulet disturbed by no rapids, moves 
with a gentle current, and drops without warning into a 
beautiful basin below, expanding into fine rain before it 
reaches the bottom ; and the breeze which always plays 
there, spreads a thick spray around, and ornaments the fal- 
ling water, the rock and the shrubbery, with rainbows. A 
carriage road is within a stone's throw of the fall, and our 
party rode to the base and to the summit of the precipice. 

Two beech trees grow near the base which are so closely 
covered with names down into the very ground, that he who 
will carve his own, must intrude upon a present occupant. 
Old and venerable names have been obliterated to give a 
conspicuous position to some young aspirant for immortal- 
ity. These beeches, said a lady of our party, are the politi- 
cal world in miniature. 

The Tockoa produces a sensation rather of the beautiful 
than the sublime — it pleases, but does not terrify — it satis- 
fies, but does not overwhelm the expectation. It is a fine 
preparation for the tremendous scenery which awaits the 
traveller sixteen miles northward. 

The rapids of Tallulah* are in Georgia, ten miles above 
the union of the Tallulah and Chatooga rivers which form 
the Tugaloo, five miles from South Carolina, and about 
twenty miles from the line of North Carolina. The river, 
which is forty yards wide above the rapids, is forced, for a 
mile and a fourth through a range of mountains, into a chan- 
nel scarcely twenty feet broad. The mountain receives 
the water into a broad basin, surrounded by solid rock one 
hundred feet in height. Here the stream pauses in antici- 
pation of the awful gulf, — then rushes down a cataract forty 
feet, — then hurrying through a narrow winding passage, 
dashing from side to side against the precipice, and repeat- 
edly turning at right angles, is precipitated one hundred feet 
— and in a moment after fifty feet more — and then making 
many short turns, it rushes down three or four falls of twen- 
ty and ten feet. The sum of the fall in the distance of a 
mile is estimated at three hundred and fifty feet. 

The rapids, however splendid, apart from the sublimity 
with which they are surrounded, are only an appendage to 

* Entered Turroree on most maps, but the old deeds spell it Tallulah, and 
this is its pronunciation by the inhabitants in its vicinity. 

Notice of the Tockoa and Tallulah Falls. 21 1 

the stupendous banks of solid rock, descending almost per- 
pendicularly to the water on both sides of the river, and va- 
rying in the distance of a mile, from seven hundred to one 
thousand feet in height, so that the stream literally passes 
that distance through the mountain, or rather through the 
high lands that connect two mountains.* 

The visitor approaches from the west, finds an easy de- 
scent for the last mile, and drives his carriage to the very 
edge of the gulf. No unusual appearances of pointed rocks 
or broken lands admonish him that the Rapids are near, 
till suddenly he sees the opening abyss. He advances cau- 
tiously, from tree to tree, till he looks down upon the water. 
Instantly, his mind surrenders itself to the overwhelming- 
sensation of awe and amazement. He neither speaks nor 
smiles — and even a jest or smile from a friend is painful to 
his feelings ; which, particularly with the ladies, (as at the 
Niagara Falls,) are often relieved by weeping. Some of 
our company, hurrying down to the brink without giving the 
mind time to collect itself, experienced dizziness and faint- 
ness, and were compelled to crawl back. 

Here are no artificial embellishments. The scenery wears 
the artless robe of nature's wiidness. The romantic variety, 
magnificence and sublimity of Jehovah's works are untouch- 
ed by human hands. The Rapids are in the bosom of a 
forest, in which are seen burrows of foxes, and dens of rattle- 
snakes, and in which are heard the howling of wolves, and 
the screaming of eagles, — there the wild deer bound grace- 
fully through the small bushes, and pass the trees rifted by 

In front of the spectator, the perpendicular face of the 
rock on the opposite shore, presenting an endless variety of 

* I regret to give these numbers by estimation, but the heights and distan- 
ces have never been accurately measured. I offer the general estimation of 
visitors as stated by our guide who resides near the place. The only descrip- 
tion of these Rapids that has ever been published is from the pen of Mr. Hill- 
house of Georgia, and published in Niles' Register Oct. 1819, which accurate- 
ly describes the scenery, and its effects upon the spectator. His account how- 
ever of the heights of the banks is too small by more than one half.. I have, 
since visiting the Rapids, looked from the base and from the top of the Table 
Rock, the perpendicular of which measured by a line from the surface of the 
lake, to the celebrated cedar bush is seven hundred and thirty four feet. This 
view confirmed my opinion, that the present estimation of the height of the 
banks at the Rapids i3 near the true one. 

t A deer bounded along, and a pine near us was splintered with lightning 
while we were viewing the Rapids. 

212 Notice of the Tockoa and Tallulah Falls. 

figures and colors,— brown, white, azure and purple — over- 
hanging, receding, angular and square surfaces, — figures in 
bass-relief ornamented with shrubbery — small rivulets fal- 
ling in graceful cascades down the precipice — the opening 
abyss, lined with massive rock — the foaming, roaring water, 
at the bottom encircled by rainbows, all seen at one view, 
produce sensations unutterable. The feeling once enjoyed 
you desire to recall, but it can be recalled only by placing 
yourself again upon the spot. Nor does the scenery lose its 
power by long and minute examination. I lingered about 
the Rapids three days, and the effect was rather heightened 
by new discoveries, than weakened by familiarity. 

The most magnificent general view is from a part of the 
precipice which projects over the abyss twenty feet, and 
which is gained by a descent of fifteen feet. This is half 
way between the commencement and termination of the 
rapids, near the highest part of the mountain through which 
they pass, not less than one thousand feet above the water, 
and affords the best view of the second and third falls, one 
of which is almost under the projection. Our company had 
just gained this site, sufficiently agitated with our situation, 
when instantly a peal of thunder burst over us, and the rain 
descended upon us. The young ladies took shelter under a 
projecting bank, from which one step might have precipita- 
ted them one thousand feet into the foaming river, — the rest 
of the party crowded under a single umbrella upon the point 
of the overhanging rock. The rock-house formerly the en- 
trance of the Indian's paradise, but now the eagle's habita- 
tion, was before us — the earth in front and on either hand 
opened wide and deep — over us roared the thunder — under 
us, at about the same distance, were seen and heard the pour- 
ing and dashing of the cataracts — " heavens red artillery" 
played around — and the wind swept by, with great violence. 
At this moment, a large pine near us was rifted by the light- 
ning, and its trunk entirely splintered to the ground. Echo 
answered echo from side to side, rumbling long and loud, 
through the caverns of the broken mountain. We all 
trembled, and looked at each other in silence. The la- 
dies sustained the shock with unexpected equanimity, and 
kept their places. In half an hour the cloud passed over — 
the wind slept — the sun casting its brilliant rainbows round the 
falls, spread over the wilderness a mild and enchanting seren- 
ity, and we pursued our discoveries with augmented interest. 

Notice of the TocJzoa and TaUulah Falls. 213 

This however was the most sublime and awful hour of my 
life. Perhaps few have ever been favored with a display 
more magnificently impressive of the power and presence 
of Omnipotence. Heaven and earth seemed to display 
their most terrific operations, and conspired to make us feel 
our own feebleness. 

The Rock House is an entrance apparently ten feet square, 
leading into the perpendicular face of the rock, too far down 
the side to be accessible. We were informed by the guide, of 
an Indian tradition, that this is the door of paradise. They 
had frequently traced their lost companions to this spot, and 
could never hear of them again ; since which, no Indian 
has been known to hunt alone near the Rapids of Tallulah. 
At present the less superstitious eagle finds this a safe retreat 
to rear her young. 

There are three places of descent to the bed of the river ; 
two of these meet at the same place, and the other leads to 
the bottom of the upper fall. The other falls have been ap- 
proached very seldom, and only by fording up the stream. 
Both descents cannot easily be performed the same day ; 
the upper one to the fall, is the most interesting. To look 
out at the opening of this deep gulf pays the excessive fa- 
tigue of the lower descent, but the view from several posi- 
tions above, produces the most enchanting effect of gran- 
deur and sublimity. 

At these Rapids, I very forcibly felt the influence by 
which the primitive worshippers selected grand and ter- 
rible scenes as the most favorable places to hold con- 
verse with the Deity. The mountain's top — the deep valley 
— the base of the waterfall — and the mouth of the grotto 
were selected by the rude inhabitants of untaught nations 
as the dwelling place of a presiding divinity. 

I left this place with an unsatisfied curiosity, convinced 
that a year might have been consumed in examining every 
object interesting to a scientific traveller. 

In preferring the Rapids to the Table Mountain, as I deci- 
dedly do, in common with many of superior taste in scenery, 
I would object to no part of the admiration so justly and so 
largely bestowed on the latter. Each presents scenes like 
no other in the United States -, the one is so perfectly un- 
like the other, and both are so remarkable, that a visit to 
the one, in no respect, supercedes the propriety of seeing 
the other. 

214 Notice of the Tockoa and Tallulah Falls. 

The effect from the top of the Table Rock is one unmixed 
overwhelming sensation of the sublime. As the spectator 
walks along the edge of the sloping precipice for a third of 
a mile, his mind demands time for expansion to receive the 
full influence of its new situation. This is accomplished by 
fixing the attention upon each object separately, — the falls of 
Slicking before him — the plantations below him — the moun- 
tains around him and the broad bosom of the forest spreading 
every way : — but the effect of the precipice under him pre- 
vails over all other emotions. As the spectator walks half a 
mile under the precipice, the height of which is at this dis- 
tance about seven hundred and thirty feet, and the base of 
which contains a narrow path, midway between the summit 
and base of the mountain, a variety of emotions is enjoyed 
too complex to be definitely described. Objects pleasing, 
novel, beautiful and sublime, are every moment demanding 
his attention. On the summit his countenance is grave, his 
words few, and his imagination strongly excited. At the 
base his countenance is lighted up, and his conversation ani- 
mated and brilliant. For his visit to the summit he feels re- 
warded, and his mind has expanded. With his visit to the 
base he is more than satisfied ; he is delighted ; his feelings 
have been kindled — the company are endeared to him, and 
on retiring he says, "no day of my life has passed more 
agreeably or more profitably. ,, The best judges, however, 
unanimously express a preference for the Rapids of Tallulah. 
As at the Table Mountain, so also two days at least should 
be devoted to the Rapids. 

Mud Creek Fall is twenty five miles north of Tallulah. I 
did not visit it, but was informed that the whole fall of this 
cataract is two hundred and eighty feet ; that it is in a large 
creek, and the effect eminently interesting. 

The Currihee Mountain, one mile from the Tockoa Fall, 
affords a rich reward for the toil of gaining its summit. On 
the north is a view of the Blue Ridge, surpassed in its pros- 
pect of " mountains piled on mountains," perhaps by no oth- 
er site in the United States. On the south, Georgia and 
South Carolina, with the exception of a few plantations on 
the Tugaloo, present one unbroken forest as far as the sight 
extends. As you traverse this forest you will sometimes see 
splendid situations insulated from the rest of the world, in 
the fertile vallies, surrounded by the conveniences, the ele- 
gancies, and the domestic refinements of social life. The 

Miscellaneous Notices of Mineral Localities, §c. 215 

fertility of the soil, the salubrity of the climate, the vicinity of 
boat navigation, in a word, every natural advantage unites to 
persuade us that cultivated plantations, elegant and happy 
homes, and spires of churches, may one day be seen from the 
Currihee as they are now from the top of Mount Holyoke.* 


The mountain rock through which the Tallulah passes, is 
of a dark grey, sometimes approaching a blue color. The 
first bed of rocks, descending perhaps one hundred and fifty 
feet, is irregularly broken into masses of all forms and sizes ; 
then succeed others with long parallel seams, dipping in a 
regular line with the fall of the river. These rest upon a 
third class of rocks, solid and of a light grey which form the 
bed of the stream. The Indians say that no fish, (not even 
the smallest minnow,) are found above the Rapids. 

Springs impregnated with lime and iron are found in the 
vicinity. Alum and a hill containing a mineral resembling 
coal, are situated below the Rapids. 

A few white pine and hemlock trees grow upon the Rap- 
ids. They are the only trees of the kind which I have seen in 
South Carolina or Georgia, and gentlemen from both these 
states were of our party who had never before seen the spe- 
cies. None of our company had seen the spruce pine in these 
states. We noticed eight species of oaks — white, red, black, 
Spanish, post, black-jack, chestnut, and live oak. 

Art. II. — Miscellaneous Notices of Mineral Localities, with 
Geological Remarks ; by Prof. Edward Hitchcock. 

During the summer and autumn of 1827, I visited a 
number of the well known localities of minerals in Massa- 
chusetts and Connecticut ; and if the following remarks, in 
the form of a diary, are of any value, they are offered for a 
place in the Journal of Science. I was accompanied in 
most of my excursions, by my assistant in chemistry, Mr. Lu- 
cius F. Clark, to whose zealous assistance I am much in- 

July. — Visited the most important localities in Chester- 
field. The green tourmaline and rubellite still hold out in 
great abundance. The vein has been laid open ten or 

Near Northampton, Mass. 

216 Miscellaneous Notices of Mineral Localities, fyc. 

twelve feet in length, in the granite, and is really one of the 
richest objects that can be presented to a mineralogist. I 
found Mr. Clark, the proprietor, very accommodating, and 
reasonable in his charges for minerals. He will pack boxes 
for gentlemen at a distance, who may request it. 

Locality of Sappare. — This is about one mile north of 
the meeting house, on land of Mr. Searle. The mineral 
has hitherto been found only in veins in bowlders of mica 
slate, lying in a cornfield. These bowlders are large, and 
without doubt were derived from the rock beneath. Sev- 
eral varieties of sappare are found, from the coarsest and 
most unsightly, to the finest crystals. No specimens, how- 
ever, can now be obtained so rich as were found several 
years ago : yet recently, they have opened a vein or two that 
furnish very good specimens. Mr. Searle usually keeps a 
supply on hand to furnish travellers. 

Zoisite occurs at the same locality in grey flattened prisms, 
in limpid quartz. 

Anthophyllite is found abundantly in the same place, in 
mica slate, and is well characterized. Other remarks con- 
cerning this mineral will be added when I come to speak of 

Any person who wishes to visit the most interesting min- 
eral localities in the vicinity of Chesterfield, with the great- 
est expedition, will do well to pursue the following route. 
If he goes from Northampton, he will first proceed to Wil- 
liamsburgh, were he will find argentine in abundance, plu- 
mose mica, &c. He will need a guide to find the deposits 
of these minerals : and Dr. Collins, the physician of the 
place, will be able to direct him. Proceeding to Chester- 
field, he will visit first the sappare locality, and take the near- 
est route from thence to Mr. Clarke's vein of green tourma- 
line, in the north western part of the town. From this place, 
he can go directly to the congregational meeting house in 
Cummington, where he will find abundance of carbonate of 
manganese, and perhaps also cummingtonite. Col. Bryant of 
that place, will be able to direct the traveller to the proper 
spot. From Cummington he can go to Goshen meeting 
house, where the physician. Dr. Wright, will direct him to 
the most interesting locality of spodumene, siliceous feld- 
spar, beryl, rose mica, indicolite, &c. on what is called the 
Week's farm in the north west part of the town. Going 
back to the centre of. the town, and proceeding on the road 

Miscellaneous Notices of Mineral Localities, tyc. 217 

to Ashfield, a mile or two, he will meet with another locality 
of spodumene. If he takes his departure from Greenfield, 
or Deerfield, the mineralogist may proceed to Goshen, by 
the way of Ashfield, and then to Williamsburgh, on the 
route already mentioned, through^ Cummington and Ches- 
terfield : and if he chooses, he can proceed directly from the 
argentine at Williamsburgh, to the Southampton lead mine, 
which is six or eight miles from Northampton. He will find 
it for his interest to provide himself with conveniences for 
packing his minerals before he sets out ; as he will not find 
at any locality, except Mr. Clark's, materials for this purpose. 

August. — Went in search of a locality of sulphuret of 
molybdena, in Shutesbury, described in vol. 1. p. 238, of 
this Journal, as occuring in that town, on land of William 
Eaton. Could not find any such person, nor ascertain that 
he ever owned any land in that place ; though he was recol- 
lected. Ascertained at length that the spot was on land of 
Mr. Pratt, in the extreme northern part of the town, close 
by a common chalybeate spring, more than half a mile from 
any house. The ore is found in a granite rock which forms 
abed, or vein, in mica slate. But it was impossible to ob- 
tain more than two or three specimens of any value. Pos- 
sibly by considerable blasting, good specimens might be 
found ; but unless the mineralogist goes prepared for this bu- 
siness, I would not recommend him to visit this locality. 
Good specimens of black schorl, however, occur not far 
from the spot, and the geologist will be much interested 
by the enormous veins and beds of granite existing in the 
same field. 

About a mile west of this place, is a large pond. On its 
southern shore, is a beach made up chiefly of the most beau- 
tiful white sand I ever saw. This appears to have procee- 
ded from the disintegration of granite. Growing out of 
this sand, I observed many plants rarely seen in this vicinity ; 
such as the xyris caroliniana, lobelia dortmanna, eriocau- 
lon pellucidum, beautiful patches of galega virginica, pros- 
erpinaca palustris, and a species of utricularia, rooting in 
the dry sand and almost destitute of utriculi. The novelty of 
this spot afforded some consolation for our disappointment 
at the vein of molybdena. 

Actynolite Schist of Macculloch. — On our return, we 
found this rock, well characterized, in the centre of Shutes- 
bury, directly opposite the mineral spring, which is some- 

Vol. XIV.— No. 2. 2 

2 1 8 Miscellaneous Notices of Mineral Localities, $e, 

what celebrated in this region. It consists of schistose ac- 
tynolite, or of actynolite and quartz, with the addition some- 
times of mica. It forms beds in gneiss ; which is exactly 
the situation in which Dr. M. found it. If actynolite be 
considered a mere variety of hornblende, then ought this 
rock to be regarded as a variety of hornblende slate. It 
has not before, I believe been indentified in this country. 

August. — Visited the place in South Hadley, where some 
agents of Mr. Disbrow had been boring for coal. They had 
selected a spot on the bank of a small stream, a few feet 
above the water, near which were seen alternating strata of 
shale and sandstone ; and in the sandstone were thin massea 
of very fine bituminous coal, having almost the brilliancy of 
jet. The workmen had abandoned the exploration, though 
their instruments and the pyramidal edifice they had erected 
over the spot still remained. No one whom I saw, was able 
to communicate many circumstances of interest relating to 
the work. They penetrated, I believe, nearly one hundred 
and forty feet, and it was said, passed through one or two 
beds of coal several inches thick. When they had penetra- 
ted about sixty feet, they opened a vein of water, and it 
rose to the top and continued to pour over the surface with 
considerable force, in a stream two or three inches in diameter. 
I passed the spot several weeks afterwards, when the house 
was removed, and a tube inserted into the opening, through 
which the water was issuing as rapidly and abundantly as at 
first. The spot is more than two miles north of the village 
of South Hadley, almost at the foot of Mount Holyoke. 

Mount Holyoke, — On the south side of the most northern 
foot path Leading to the top of this pinnacle, about two 
hundred feet below the summit, I have lately found the 
sandstone of the coal formation cropping out most distinct- 
ly beneath the greenstone. Such instances are quite rare 
in the northern part of the trap ranges of the Connecticut. 

September 4. — Southampton. The well known vein of 
galena in this town, appears also, about half a mile north 
of the principal adit, and has been explored to a considera- 
ble depth. It is seen on the north side of the road, on a 
steep hill about half a mile east of Kingsley's tavern. This 
spot is a good locality of yellow foliated blende and radia- 
ted quartz, and better specimens may here be found than 
at the principal adit. Mica slate here appears to form the 
walls of the vein. 

Miscellaneous Notices of Mineral Localities, fyc. 210 

Westhampton. — Noticed a bowlder of granite, so inter- 
sected by veins of the same rock, as to exhibit granite of 
four successive epochs: that is to say, the original bowl- 
der must have been first formed ; a vein, intersecting it was 
the second formation ; a second vein, cutting off the first, 
was a third formation ; and a third vein, cutting off the se- 
cond was a fourth formation. 

Norwich. — Went in search of the locality of beryl and 
plumose mica, described in Robinson's catalogue of Mine- 
rals, as " half a mile west from Pitcher's bridge, near a mass 
of white rocks, to be seen from the bridge." No such 
white rocks can be seen west of the bridge ; but a conspic- 
uous protruding mass of granite appears on the hill directly 
north. Concluding this to be the spot, we went to it : but 
neither in it, nor near it, could we find more than one or 
two crystals of beryl. But the prismatic mica is very abun- 
dant and fine : Schorl also, in immense quantities, exists in 
the rock, and very many of the prisms are terminated by 
three sided pyramids, and I noticed a few nine sided prisms. 
Some of the crystals are four inches in diameter. Plumose 
mica also occurs at the same place though sparingly. 

September 5. — Having cause to suspect that beryls were 
found in several of the granite beds and veins in the vicinity, 
we proceeded up the river, (a branch of the Westfield,) 
until we came to the last house on the road, where lived 
one of those persons who profess to have a natural taste 
for mineralogy, and to be acquainted with several most 
valuable metallic veins in the vicinity, whose situation 
they will not disclose. He undertook to conduct us to a lo- 
cality of beryls -, and after leading us up a hill half a mile 
in length, we came to a spot, near the north line of Norwich, 
which was really interesting.* The rocks in all this region 
are mica slate, with irregular protruding masses and veins 
of granite ; and in this latter rock we not unfrequently found 
beryls, but they were neither very fine, nor abundant. The 
best had been dug out ; as some of the inhabitants in the vi- 
cinity had ascertained that they were of some value. Other 
interesting minerals, however, were found, which repaid us 
for the fatigue of the excursion. 

Black schorl, in immense crystals, three or four inches in 

* Large patches of ground in the fields around this spot were red with im- 
mense quantities of that curious moss the Funaria hygrometrica. 

i'20 Miscellaneous Notices of Mineral Localities, fyc. 

Siliceous feldspar, a new variety as to color ; it being 
dark grey, or blue. In other respects, it agrees exactly with 
that from Chesterfield, Goshen, &c. 

Spodumene, in large laminated masses, of a pearly white 
color. Upon examining a few specimens after my return, I 
find one of them to be a six sided prism, without termina- 
tions ; and a second exhibited distinctly three of the sides 
of such a prism. I was suspicious that this might be one 
of the crystalline forms of this mineral ; but perhaps it is 
the result of cleavage. 

The mica slate of these mountains forms good whetstones; 
and a quarry is opened half a mile south of the locality 
above described. Near this quarry is a ledge of that variety 
of granite which I have described as pseudomorphous, in vol. 
6, of this Journal ; and the plates of mica are of enormous 
size, even from fifteen to eighteen inches across ; although it 
was hardly possible to get out any specimens of this size, 
I found also near this spot, one or two very fine speci- 
mens of black schorl ; the crystals one or two inches long, 
and completely covering the convex surface of a mass of 
mica slate, a foot long, and ten inches wide. 

In going from Norwich to Blandford, I passed through the 
east part of Chester ; but had not time to search for the ma- 
ny interesting minerals discovered in that place by Dr. Em- 
mons. I observed, however, both in Chester and in Bland- 
ford, sappare in abundance, disseminated extensively in mi- 
ca slate. In Blandford it is accompanied by wine colored 

On an island in a branch of WestfieH river, near what is 
called Chester village, one of the inhabitants informed me, 
an hundred days work, had been performed a few years 
since, in search of Capt. Kidd's* money. The digging was 
accompanied with the superstitious observances common on 
such occasions. They were greatly discouraged in one 
part of the process by the intrusion of my informant, who 
by speaking to them, when they were observing the most 
profound silence, broke the charm, and the treasure they 
supposed just within their reach, was thus irrecoverably lost. 
They did all in their power, by gestures, to prevent the fatal 
word from being spoken ; but they could not make them- 
selves understood. At another time they were greatly en- 
couraged to proceed, by finding an iron pot, containing 

* A celebrated Buccaneer. 

Miscellaneous Notices of Mineral Localities, $c> 221 

some bits of copper, which had been secretly deposited there, 
the day* previous, by some boys who had discovered the 
place of their operations. It is astonishing how widely 
these foolish whims concerning Kidd's money are dissemina- 
ted among the ignorant in New England. 

We visited Blandford with a view to find the locality of an- 
thophyllite, announced some time since by Mr. Shepard. But 
we found no one there who could direct us to it. Upon 
searching, however, we found the mineral, at first about 
twenty rods southeast of the village, on the road to East 
Granville, and afterwards more perfect specimens, about a 
mile south of the village, on the same road. It differed, 
however, so much in appearance from the mineral discovered 
by Mr. Shepard, that I was led to doubt its identity, and 
also whether it was anthophyllite. And this doubt was still 
further increased, on subjecting a filament to the action of 
the blowpipe, by which it was slightly, though with some dif- 
ficulty, fused. In other respects it corresponds very well 
with the descriptions of anthophyllite in the books ; its struc- 
ture being foliated, its fracture uneven, its color some shade 
of brown, and the aggregation of its fibres, or prisms, some- 
what radiated. Not having a specimen of Norwegian an- 
thophyllite for comparison, I gave some specimens to Mr. 
Shepard, the results of whose examination are contained in 
the following letter, which I think renders it nearly certain, 
that the mineral in question is anthophyllite. The specimens 
from Blandford and Chesterfield are so nearly alike, that the 
one can hardly be distinguished from the other. 

"Vale College, Jan. 2, 1828. 

My dear sir-— In compliance with your desire, I have com- 
pared the substance which you supposed might be antho- 
phyllite with a genuine specimen from Norway. It possess- 
ed the same crystallographical characters, affording by the 
reflecting goniometer, angles of 1 25° 30' and 54* 30'. Before 
the blowpipe their appearance was the same, although I was 
able to fuse them both without difficulty upon the edges, 
into a glass colored by iron, contrary to the characters given 
in this respect in the books, which assert that, alone, before 
the blowpipe, the anthophyllite is unalterable. 

The determination of this substance has led me to re-exa- 
mine a mineral from the same neighborhood, of which I 
gave some account in the Boston Journal, under the name of 
anthophyllite. I find myself to have been in an error as to 

222 Miscellaneous Notices of Mineral Localities, fyt. 

my examination of its crystalline form and some other char- 
acters. At present I regard this mineral as constituting a 
new species, of which I propose at a future day to give a 
particular account. Yours very truly, 

C. U. Shepard. 

Sept. 6. — The view from Blandford meeting house, is most 
commanding and extensive. We could see several points of 
interest in the valley of the Connecticut, and in all other di- 
rections the horizon was very distant. 

From Norwich to West Granville we passed nearly in the 
direction of the rock strata. The prevailing rock is mica 
slate, sometimes passing into talcose slate, and in Granville, 
alternating with hornblende slate, containing numerous small 
crystals of hornblende. These slate rocks were frequently 
intersected by granite veins and protruding masses. Some 
of these were interesting to the geologist ; but I have not 
now time to enter into any details. If life and leisure be 
granted me to collect together a sufficient number of facts, 
relating to the granite of New England, to justify any gener- 
alizations, I shall offer the result to your journal. I will here 
only remark, that rarely, if ever, do I meet with a granite bed 
in the strict sense of that term ; but in nearly every instance, 
a little careful examination shows that the granite mass con- 
tinues precisely parallel with the including strata, only a 
short distance, and then crosses the strata more or less ob- 

In West Granville, one or two miles south east of the 
meeting house, occurs a bed of very good soapstone. We 
saw a specimen, but did not visit the spot. 

From Granville we proceeded westerly across the strata to 
Tolland, the next town. Mica slate was the prevailing rock 
for about two miles, when we came to a region containing 
immense quantities of hornblende rock, scattered in large 
and small bowlders over the surface. In most instances, the 
hornblende was nearly pure, occurring in laminated masses, 
very much larger than I have seen elsewhere. I noticed 
some of them from twelve to fifteen inches in length, and 
one inch and a half broad. Not unfrequently there was 
nearly an equal admixture of feldspar, constituting a mag- 
nificent sienite ; some of which, was beautifully porphyritic. 
This hornblende is black, and easily fuses before the blow- 
pipe — a proof that it is not augite. I have no question that 

Miscellaneous Notices of Mineral Localities, fyc. 223 

these varieties of rock exist, in place, in the east part of Tol- 
land, and occupy a space a mile or two in breadth. I regret- 
ted that I could not spend more time in its examination, or 
carry with me more than an imperfect suite of specimens. 
West of Tolland meeting house we found mica slate, gneiss 
and granite ; and we meet with these occasionally as far west 
as New Marlborough ; though after descending the moun- 
tain, three miles west of Tolland, we fell in with numberless 
bowlders of granular quartz. But the geology of this region 
has been so ably described by Prof. Dewey, in the 8th vol. 
of this Journal, that it is unnecessary for me to go into 

Sept. 6th, Canaan, Connecticut. — This is an interesting 
region, both to the geologist and mineralogist. We were 
attracted thither, principally by the hope of discovering the 
spot from which the native iron was obtained, that was re- 
cently announced in this journal. We called upon Maj. Bur- 
rail, who, in search of the iron which he formerly obtained 
from this mountain, had recently visited it again, in company 
with his son, Mr. Wm. Burrall, a graduate of Yale College, 
and Dr. Reed. Maj, B. not being able to go with us to the 
spot, the two other gentlemen just named, conducted us. 
About two miles north of the meeting house, in the south 
parish in Canaan, is a precipitous mountain, nearly a thou- 
sand feet in height ; and it was on its top, and near the west- 
ern edge, that the native iron was found, not three years ago 
as stated in this journal, but as Maj. Burrall informed us, six- 
teen or seventeen years since. At the base of the mountain 
is limestone, succeeded by an aggregate of quartz and mica, 
which appears to be one of the varieties of Dr. Macculloch's 
quartz rock. The top of the mountain, however, is well 
characterized mica slate, containing small imperfect crystals 
of magnetic iron ore, sparingly disseminated. On the top of 
the mountain we came to a pond, perhaps sixty or eighty 
rods across, and on the south west margin of this pond, is 
the spot, where, as well as Maj. Burrall can recollect, he ob- 
tained the specimens in question. At this spot, he found his 
compass liable to so great a variation, that it was useless, and 
on examining the rocks for the cause, he found the speci- 
mens that have excited so much interest. Mr. Burrall junior 
took his father's compass with him, on our present excursion, 
and attempted to run over the same line which his father 
pointed out to him, as the one upon which he experienced 

22-1 Miscellaneous Notices of Mineral Localities, <^e. 

so much difficulty. This line runs nearly east and west, just 
upon the southern margin of the pond, and we found that 
where it approaches the nearest to the pond, there was a Va- 
riation of 30°, as shown by back objects. On setting the 
compass only two or three rods backwards or forwards, on 
the line, however, the variation almost entirely vanished.. 
This showed us that the magnetic mass, that produced the 
variation, could not be far removed from the line, either 
north or south ; for had it been at a considerable distance, 
the removal of the compass a few rods either east or west, 
could not materially have affected the variation ; since the 
radius of a large circle, for a considerable number of degrees, 
differs so little from the secant. We removed the compass 
one or two rods to the north, and run a line parallel to that 
above named, so as even to enter a little distance into the 
pond, where the water is highest. Here the variation was 
even greater than upon the first line ; so that the attracting 
mass must lie north of that first line. Probably it lies just 
in the edge of the pond ; and I have no hesitation in saying, 
that a circle, described with a radius of two rods, upon the 
point where the greatest variation was noticed, would em- 
brace the ferruginous mass that here disturbs the needle ; 
nor is there much reason to doubt but that mass is native 
iron. And whoever has observed how large a mass of iron 
it requires to turn aside the needle of a compass, at the dis- 
tance of one or two rods, will presume that the mass here 
deposited must be a large one. The spot I have been des- 
cribing is covered with trees and thick underbrush, and the 
moss and rubbish almost entirely hide the rocks underneath. 
The bottom of the pond is sphagnous : and perhaps it 
might be necessary partially to drain it,, which is not difficult. 
Whoever will be at the trouble and expense of removing the 
brush, moss and soil, at this spot, under the direction of Mr. 
Burrall, or Dr. Pveed, will, I have little doubt, be abundantly 
rewarded by the discovery of a mass of native iron. 

On seeing this pond, and considering this locality of native 
iron on its margin, the enquiry forces itself on the mind, may 
it not be the crater of an extinct volcano 1 But I could per- 
ceive not the least indication of any igneous action. 

Maj. Burrall presented me with a small specimen of the 
native iron, whose characters correspond exactly to those 
given in the 12th vol. of this journal ; but it furnishes no ad- 
ditional information. 

Miscellaneous Notices of Mineral Localities, fyc. 225 

Canaan furnishes several other interesting minerals, which 
have been noticed in the journals and mineralogical books. 
In the limestone, a large part of which is dolomite, between 
the mountain just described and the south meeting house, 
occurs abundance of crystallized white augite. The lime- 
stone is very liable to disintegration, and by a little search in 
the white soil above the rock, the augite may be found in a 
perfect state. Some of the crystals are six sided prisms, with 
two lateral planes broader than the others. These are ter- 
minated by four sided summits, whose faces correspond to 
the nearest faces of the prism. Sometimes the terminal 
edge of the summit is truncated. Sometimes in addition to 
this truncation, one, two, three or four of the solid angles of 
the summit are replaced by planes. This six sided prism is 
often converted into an eight sided one, by a slight truncation 
on its acute lateral edges. This truncation is sometimes so 
deep that the crystal becomes a perfect four sided prism, 
with slight truncations on all its angles. 

In the same limestone exists abundance of very beautiful 
tremolite. If I mistake not, all the varieties of this mineral 
exist here; viz. the common, in flattened prisms ; the fibrous, 
exceedingly delicate, resembling white silk ; and the baika- 
lite, in acicular radiating prisms. 

Quartz Rock. 

By consulting Professor Dewey's geological map of Berk- 
shire county, we find that he has put down quartz rock in 
several places, and in Canaan among the rest. I understand 
him, however, in common with all American geologists, to 
embrace in his description, only that variety of this rock, 
which consists of granular and compact quartz alone. But 
if I mistake not, several other varieties of the quartz rock of 
Dr. Macculloch, occur in this country, and have been usually 
confounded with mica slate. I reckon among these, the 
high and precipitous mountain a few rods south east of the 
south meeting house in Canaan. It is composed of quartz 
and mica, the quartz predominating : and this is the charac- 
ter by which Dr. Macculloch distinguishes this rock from 
mica slate. It rarely has a schistose structure, but is rather 
indistinctly stratified. The quartz being white, the rock 
would easily be mistaken for granite, or gneiss : but I could 
discover in it no feldspar. This same rock I have observed 
in several other places, in connexion with the mica slate of 

Vol. XIV.— No. 2. 3 

226 Miscellaneous Notices of Mineral Localities, fyc, 

the Hoosack and Green Mountains ; though no where else* 
(as far as I recollect) constituting so large a mass. A variety 
of quartz rock, in which the ingredients are arranged in dis- 
tinct layers, the quartz, being greatly in excess, constitutes 
strata of considerable extent, in Northfield, Vernon, Lever- 
ett, &c. along Connecticut river. Quartz rock of a similar 
character also constitutes a considerable part of the Blue 
Ridge in North Carolina ; particularly the remarkable peak 
called Pilot Mountain. I doubt not but our geologists, by a 
little attention, might easily identify in our country all the 
varieties of this rock, described by the author above named, 
as existing in Europe. I ought perhaps to mention, that in 
a former volume of this Journal, I described the conglome- 
rate quartz rock, as occuring both on the eastern and the 
western sides of the Hoosack Mountain. The variety of this 
conglomerate described by Prof. Dewey, as " cemented by 
fibrous brown hematite," and which the traveller not un- 
frequently meets with in New Marlborough and the north 
part of Canaan, is not mentioned by Macculloch and ap- 
pears to be new. 

Scapolite Rock. 

In mineralogical treatises, scapolite is described as rather 
a rare mineral ; but in this country it occurs in large quan- 
tities, especially at Bolton and Boxborough in Massachusetts, 
The locality in Canaan, however, exceeds in extent any 
thing before heard of. From the space it there occupies, I 
have no hesitation in denominating it a rock. About half a 
mile north east of the meeting house, it forms regular strata, 
at least two miles long, and from a quarter, to half a mile 
wide. It is associated with granular limestone ; and on its 
western limits, is intimately mixed with that rock. It is the 
compact variety and has a splintery fracture. I noticed 
three varieties of this rock. 
1 . Compact scapolite. 

2. Compact scapolite and limestone. 

3. Compact scapolite and mica. 

This rock is distinctly stratified, the strata varying from a 
few inches, to a foot or more, in thickness, and dipping to 
the east, at an angle between 45° and 60°. These strata are 
usually crossed, nearly at right angles, with another set of 
seams, dividing the rock into columnar masses. The exter- 
nal part of the rock is generally partially decomposed, to 

Miscellaneous Notices of Mineral Localities, fyc. 227 

the depth of half an inch, or more. I had not time to ex- 
amine all the relations of this rock, and should not, therefore, 
be surprised, if it should be found much more extensive than 
above stated. I was not without suspicion, at first, that it 
might be a variety of augite ; but it melts, without difficul- 
ty, before the blowpipe, with intumescence, into a white ena- 
mel ; whereas I was not able to fuse the augite, from the 
same locality. 

As to the geological relations of this rock, I have no 
doubt that it is connected with a primary series, consisting 
of limestone, quartz rock, and mica slate. It is very tough, 
and being regular in its stratification, it is a good material 
for stone walls. 

September 8th. — Visited the most extensive bed of iron 
ore in Salisbury, and the furnaces. Interesting as these ob- 
jects are, they have been so minutely and repeatedly des- 
cribed, even in this Journal, that a repetition is unnecessary. 
At the old furnace, near the principal village, we found abun- 
dance of cadmia thrown aside, of which the superintendant 
very obligingly permitted us to take as much as we pleased. 

September 10th. — In passing over the mica slate, gneiss 
and granite, occuring on the road from Canaan to Wood- 
bury, we met with but little worth noticing, in regard to min- 
eralogy and geology. Bowlders of limestone, containing 
tremolite, are not uncommon in Goshen and the north part 
of Litchfield. One mile south of Litchfield, I noticed trem- 
olite in fetid quartz. In Litchfield (south farms,) and on- 
wards to Bethlehem, are numerous bowlders of beautiful 
porphyritic granite, and occasionally porphyritic gneiss. 
The crystals of feldspar are uncommonly large. Bowlders 
of these same rocks exist in great quantities, a few miles 
northwest of N. Haven, in Woodbridge ; but I have not 
noticed these rocks in place in Connecticut. 

We stopped in Woodbury at the public house directly op- 
posite, and only a few rods, from the well known locality of 
prehnite. We had been told that this locality was exhaus- 
ted, but found it easy to obtain an abundance of very de- 
cent specimens. We were told that a better locality had 
been found on the east side of the hill ; but after wandering 
in search of it for some time, we gave up the idea of finding it. 

I was gratified to find the character of the greenstone in 
Woodbury so exactly like that along the Connecticut. I 
observed also in a stone wall, near the prehnite locality, a 

228 Miscellaneous Notices of Mineral Localities, $& 

piece of sandstone precisely resembling a variety of this 
rock found in the coal formation on that river. And on pro- 
ceeding southerly, to Southbury, I was agreeably surprised 
to find, not only a continuation of the greenstone, even to 
the banks of the Housatonic, but also several other varieties 
of the sandstones and shales of the coal formation, and also 
bituminous limestone, In fact, it is a real coal formation ; 
whose northern limit is in Woodbury, and its southern on the 
banks of the Housatonic ; and Dr. Smith of Southbury 
informed me, that explorations had been made in that place 
for coal. He mentioned also that an impression of scales, 
probably those of a fish, had been found in the bituminous 
limestone ; and that in the greenstone occur chalcedony, 
agates, calcareous spar, &c. ; also satin spar in the lime- 
stone. If I did not misunderstand him, a vein of sulphuret 
of arsenic was formerly explored in the southern part of 
the town ; though the pit is now filled. He said likewise, 
that the rose quartz of this town, may still be obtained in 
abundance, though blasting is now requisite. 

But the most interesting object Dr. Smith offered to our 
inspection, was a siliceous petrifaction of a trunk of a tree, 
eight or ten inches in diameter, found in Southbury. The 
man, who discovered it, mistook it for the unaltered stump 
of a tree ; and on attempting to fix his axe in it, he so bat- 
tered the instrument as almost to ruin it, upon which, he 
flew into passion, and fell to breaking this fine petrifaction to 
pieces. Dr. Smith however, obtained one piece, a few 
inches long, of the entire trunk, and it is rare to see a pet- 
rifaction exhibiting the back and solid part more perfectly. 
I think Dr. Smith told me it occurred in a swamp. 

A strong desire to reach New Haven before the College 
commencement, induced us to break away from the miner- 
al attractions, which the reader will see, were here presented 
to us. Yet no mineralogist would think of leaving Munroe 
unvisited, when in its vicinity. We therefore hurried for- 
ward to that place. 

September 11th, Munroe. Lane's Mine — I suspect the 
gangue of this mine, which is quartz, constitutes an immense 
bed in gneiss, and not a vein : in one part of the exploration, 
the gneiss appears above the quartz, in contact with it, dip- 
ping a few degrees, to the northeast. It may possibly, how^ 
ever, be a bowlder. The mine is yet explored only ten or 
twelve feet deep. 

Miscellaneous Notices of Mineral Localities, $c. 229 

The locality of topaz and chlorophane is three and a half 
miles south west of this mine. We did not visit it, for want 
of time. But Mr. Lane informed us, that both the minerals 
form a vein in limestone ; one side of which vein, is chloro- 
phane, and the other quartz containing topaz. The crys- 
tals of this latter mineral appear to be abundant, and some 
of them very fine ; but in general, their great size seems to 
be at the expense of their delicacy. It occurs in foliated 
masses, as well as distinct crystals, whose lustre is about 
the same as that of feldspar, and as plates of mica are mix- 
ed with it, it might easily be mistaken for granite, had it 
not so great a specific gravity. I obtained a mass of this 
variety of the mineral of Mr. Lane, which was almost 
entirely topaz, and which weighted twenty six pounds ! 
And yet, originally this was twice as large, and the whole 
was blasted from the vein, where, for aught I know, may be 
tons of it. 

I have said that the topaz locality was three and a half 
miles from the mine ; but I have found this mineral at the 
mine. The specimens were connected with the Wolfram, and 
were very decided in their characters. I regard this discov- 
ery as interesting, because it shows that topaz is dissemina. 
ted in this region, more widely than had been supposed. 

Carbonate of iron and delicate fibrous hornblende, as 
well as a remarkable variety in crystals, resembling hypers- 
thene ; also smoky and yellow quartz, and green feldspar, 
are found at Lane's mine. In another part of the town is 
found brown spar, associated with tripoli ; I believe these 
minerals have not been noticed before. 

I forget whether the fine crystals of black schorl, in the 
northwest part of this town, have been noticed among for- 
mer localities. They are the best I have seen in this coun- 
try. Often they are an inch or more in diameter, with per- 
fect terminations, and the edges of the terminating faces 
beautifully truncated. Mr. Lane keeps duplicates of these, 
as well as all the other minerals of the place, on hand, for 
the accomodation of mineralogists. We obtained of him 
three or four hundred specimens, at a very reasonable rate. 
He is very zealous in exploring his mines, and possesses a 
very good tact at discriminating minerals. 

Gypsum of Nova Scotia. 

I recently examined a quantity of this rock brought from 
Nova Scotia, and there happened to be mixed with it several 

230 Geology of North Carolina. 

specimens of the rock in which it is contained. I have no 
hesitation in saying, that it is the red marie, or saliferous 
rock, so prolific in gypsum, in various parts of the world. 
If I am not mistaken therefore, the geological relations of 
the Nova Scotia gypsum are ascertained.* 

In the selenite and compact gypsum from the same 
place, I found disseminated small masses of bituminous car- 
bonate of lime, of a dark color, and resembling the fetid 
limestone sometimes found in the same situation. 

Art. III. — Notice of the Report on the Geology of North 
Carolina, conducted under the direction of the Board of 
Agriculture ; by Denison Olmsted, Professor of Chem- 
istry and Mineralogy in the University of North Carolina. 
In two parts, pp. 141, 1824 and 1825. 

It has not been owing to any doubts as to the value and 
merit of this publication, but to circumstances beyond our 
control, that we have so long delayed the execution of our 
resolution, made upon the first appearance of this work, to 
give the readers of this journal a detailed account of it. The 
valuable geological facts it contains, would be a sufficient rea- 
son for devoting to this purpose a few pages of a work, in- 
tended, like this journal, to be a record of the natural histo- 
ry of our country. But there is another reason that prompts us 
to this labor even at this late hour. It will be recollected that 
this geological survey of North Carolina was authorized by 
an act of its legislature, and to this day it remains a conspicu- 
ous and solitary! instance, in which any of our state govern- 
ments have undertaken thoroughly to develope their mineral 
resources. It was attended, we are told, with an almost en- 
thusiastic success ; and certainly confers great honor upon its 
projector, and upon the intelligent representatives, who pro- 
vided the means of carrying it into execution. It is a good 
example, therefore, to hold up before other legislatures, to 
induce them to adopt a similar course. The subject, it is well 

* In a letter from Mr. Frances Alger, of Boston who has examined the beds 
of this rock in N. S. he says, " the sulphate of lime and fibrous gypsum occur 
in red sandstone near its junction with greenstone." 

t South Carolina has we learn engaged in a similar enterprize, under the di- 
rection of Professor Vanuxem. 

Geology of North Carolina. 231 

known, is exciting considerable attention at this day ; and in 
one of our largest states, intelligent and public spirited indi- 
viduals have undertaken the work on a scale worthy of their 
distinguished character. From the very commendable spirit 
for internal improvements that is pervading all classes of the 
community, may we not hope, that ere long this subject will 
not be urged in vain upon the representatives of any state. 
What an accession would be made to our resources, and to 
a knowledge of our country, were a thorough examination to 
be instituted into our mineralogical, geological, and, even 
botanical riches ! How worthy the genius of our govern- 
ments to have an accurate geological map, with an ac- 
companying report, accessible to all our citizens ! Individual 
naturalists are indeed doing much towards the accomplish- 
ment of such a work : but the pleasure derived from scien- 
tific discovery is almost their only reward ; and without pa- 
tronage, they cannot for many decades of years accomplish 
the enterprize. 

As the report of Prof. Olmsted was intended for the com- 
munity at large, he has wisely avoided, as far as possible, 
technical phraseology. He has also dwelt most upon those 
substances which are of practical utility, and most of those 
facts, that would interest only the scientific man, he has 
thrown into the notes. The first part of the report gives an 
account of the country immediately west of Raleigh ; the 
second part describes all that part of the state between Ra- 
leigh and the ocean ; and to these two parts, there are added 
observations on the geology of the western section of the 
state. In this order was the state examined : But in the ex- 
tracts we propose to make, we shall begin on the sea board 
and proceed westward, because this order will lead us in suc- 
cession across the different geological formations; begin- 
ning with the tertiary, and passing across the secondary to 
the primary. 

We call that part of the state tertiary, which is usually de- 
nominated alluvial ; but with about as much propriety, in 
our opinion, as if one were to speak of granite as alluvial. 
This part of the state, extending westward from the ocean 
nearly one hundred and fifty miles, is called by the inhabit- 
ants the "Low Country." It consists of regular alternating 
beds of sand and clay, with occasional masses of sandstone 
and limestone abounding in marine organic remains. The 
regularity of its beds, and its different mode of formation. 

232 Geology of North Carolina. 

distinguish it decisively from the alluvial. Although a few 
years since this formation was thought to be quite uninterest- 
ing, it is now justly beginning to excite a great deal of atten- 
tion. Professor Mitchell, the successor of Prof. Olmsted in 
the chemical and geological chair in the University of North 
Carolina, has however, given so excellent a view of this for- 
mation in No. 2, of the last volume of this Journal, that we 
need not dwell upon it. Though personally unacquainted 
with Prof. Mitchell, we feel constrained to express our grati- 
fication at the sound geological view that paper exhibits, 
and to congratulate the University, that its loss, in the resig- 
nation of Prof. Olmsted, is so well supplied. If he has not 
given a death blow to the prevalent hypothesis of the forma- 
tion of the low country of the southern states by the action 
of the Gulf Stream, and the waves, we know not how sound 
argument could destroy it. 

Notwithstanding the paper of Professor Mitchell, just 
alluded to, it will not be uninteresting to the geologist to 
read the following extract, relating to the organic remains 
of the tertiary formation of North Carolina, from the Re- 
port of Prof. Olmsted. For the reason already alluded to, 
he could not employ all the scientific designations which 
the geologist would wish. 

Beaufort Canal. 

The opening of the new canal between Clubfoot and Harlow 
creeks, forming a water communication between Newbern and 
the Ocean, by way of Beaufort, affords an opportunity to examine 
the upper strata of this district, and discloses to view a specimen 
of the curious fossil remains of animals with which this region 
is stored. These excavations expose a depth of sixteen feet, for 
a distance of three miles, through a tract that is nearly a dead 
Level, and they penetrate through the following horizontal strata. 

1. A black mould, such as is usually found in the eastern 
swamps, capable of producing corn and wheat in the greatest 

2. Potters clay, of a yellowish brown color. 

3. A thin layer of sand, full of sea shells and the remains of 
land animals, particularly of the Mammoth, or fossil Elephant. 
Along with a profusion of shells, in perfect preservation, there 
are not unfrequently thrown out, huge teeth, vertebrae, and 
skeletons, more or jless entire, of a gigantic race of animals, 
which, no doubt, were buried here by that great catastrophe 
which also shut out the ocean far eastward of its original borders. 
The shells, when first thrown out, are generally unaltered ; but 

Geology of North Carolina. 233 

on exposure to the air, they speedily crumble to pieces. They 
are met with at different depths, from three to eight feet, and 
the marine deposits are chiefly in beds or ridges crossing the ca- 
nal from east to west. Conch-shells, scollops and clams, are 
the most common varieties of shells, and they correspond both 
in kind and appearance with the marine aggregates accumula- 
ted on the sandy beach near cape Look-out. The clam shells, 
however, are frequently of a larger size than those met with 
at present. 

4. A soft deep blue clay, which is sometimes in contact with 
the potter's clay, (number 2.) though it is frequently separated 
from it by the layer of sand, (number 3.) The inhabitants as- 
sert, that this blue mud corresponds in its character precisely 
with that which is now found in the bed of the adjacent ocean. 

Shell Marl. 

In ascending the Neuse towards Newbern, the banks gen- 
erally appear low, but occasional bluffs present themselves, all 
of which I should have examined more minutely, had not the na- 
ture of my conveyance, (a public boat,; prevented. The most 
conspicuous bank, however, I had an opportunity of inspecting 
with some attention. It occurs at Johnson's Point, four and a 
half miles below Newbern, on the south side of the river. This 
contains an extensive deposit of marine shells, more or less de- 
cayed, and blended with clay, constituting that valuable species 
of manure, called shell marl. The bed occupies a space of 
about five feet above low water mark, and consists of a vast col- 
lection of marine substances, among which are scollops, oysters, 
clams, conchs, corals and madrepores. Immediately above the bed 
of shells, is a thin layer of clay, exhibiting prints of shells only, 
the shells themselves having apparently mouldered entirely 
away. Above the clay, the remainder of the bank, about fif- 
teen feet, is occupied by sand. 

The Report describes several varieties of limestone and 
stone marl in the low country. In an economical point of 
view, these are interesting, especially as it is probable one of 
the varieties will form the water proof cement. The oolitic 
limestone and stone marl are thus described. 

Limestone of the Sarpony Hills. 

In the eastern part of the county of Wayne, is a high ridge 
of land extending along the south sWe of the river for several 
miles, and dividing the waters of this river from those which 
pursue a longer course to the Cape Fear. These hills are covered 
with large round blocks of fine stone marl, beneath which, at the 
Vol. XIV.— No. 2. 4 

2.34 Geology of North Carolina. 

bed of the river, lies a formation of limestone, of the description 
called by mineralogists, oolitic limestone — different in its appear- 
ance from all the other beds which occur on this river. It cros- 
ses the river in a northeast and south west direction, and affords 
every indication of being one of those general formations which 
traverse the whole state. 

The most favorable view of these rocks occurs at Mr. Gris- 
wold's, on the bank of the river, nine miles below Waynesborough, 
where vl bluff ninety feet high exposes them fully to inspec- 
tion. Thirty five feel above the limestone, in the side of a hill, 
the blocks of marl, above mentioned, make their appearance. 
It is of a close texture, nearly or quite destitute of shells, and 
other organic remains, and does not, like the stone marl of Jones 
county, fall to pieces on exposure to the weather. It is of a 
lively grey color, and when first removed from the bed, it is so 
soft as to be easily cut with a knife or sawn into blocks ; but on 
becoming quite dry, it grows hard and firm, and assumes every 
appearance of a most elegant building stone. Indeed, on com- 
paring it with a specimen of the celebrated Bath stone, (which 
is used for the finest public buildings of the city of London) re- 
cently taken from Westminster Abbey by the Rev. Dr. Cald- 
well, the eye can hardly discern any difference between them, 
but the two appear equally well fitted in texture, color, and 
beauty, for the finest purposes of architecture. It is composed 
of sixty per cent, of lime and forty of a fine grey clay. It is 
therefore a true marl ; but, as has been already remarked, not 
subject like that to decompose, but on the other hand, possessing 
the valuable property of hardening on exposure. Lying as it 
does on the very bank of the river, and therefore susceptible of 
easy transportation in boats, it is to be hoped that some edifice 
in the town of Newbern, will ere long display its uncommon ex- 
cellencies as a building stone. Should it cross the other large 
rivers, as it probably does, it maybe regarded as without a rival 
among the building stone hitherto discovered in 'this state. 

In Lenoir county is found a fine white sand that would 
probably answer for common glass : and in Lincoln occurs 
abundance of white granular quartz, easily crumbling be- 
tween the fingers. No manufactory of glass, however, has 
yet been established. 

For more than a hundred miles along the banks of the 
Neuse, the pyrites of the clay is found in a decomposing 
state, and partially converted into copperas. No establish- 
ment, for its separation from the clay, as yet exists. In the 
same clay and associated sand, occur abundance of fine 

•Geology of North Carolina. 235 

The lignite is, in some instances, perfectly charred, exactly 
resembling charcoal ; sometimes it is only partially charred, ex- 
hibiting the remains of trees very perfectly. We uncovered a 
trunk for five feet which was in a state of complete preserva- 
tion, having the bark entire and unbroken. The diameter was 
twelve inches by six, and its figure therefore ellipsoidal, a cir- 
cumstance which is common to all the lignite I have seen. This 
mass was horizontal, resting on its broader side, and coincident 
with the general range of strata (viz. north east and south west.) 
It burns readily on the fire. Fragments which are scattered 
over the surface become petrified, the vegetable matter being 
replaced by silex. In this collection were also fragments of fine 
chlorite slate, containing octahedral iron, than which nothing 
could be a greater stranger in this region. 

The wells of the eastern district are thus noticed. 

The wells of this region are a curiosity to a visitant from 
the hilly and mountainous districts. They are rarely if ever 
walled, but the compact clays which forrn the natural walls, give 
a sufficient firmness to the strata of sand and gravel which they 
enclose, to keep the sides from caving. During the wet season, 
the water is usually found in these wells at no greater depth 
than five or six feet. If means could be devised to penetrate to 
the depth of a hundred feet or more, it is probable that a much 
finer kind of water would be obtained, as is found to be the case 
in many similar formations of sand, clay and gravel, in other 
parts of the world. 

Bog iron ore is not unfrequently met with in the eastern 
section of the state, and the brown hematite occurs abun- 
dantly near the dividing line between the lower and upper 
country ; and the magnetic exists in large beds in the mica 
slate of the primary region. None of these, except the mag- 
netic, are wrought to any extent. " In Lincoln," says the 
Report, " there are ten forges, and four furnaces, where, in 
the year 1 823 were made about nine hundred tons of bar 
iron, and two hundred tons of castings." To encourage the 
working of these ores more exclusively, Prof. O. devotes a 
few pages to some judicious remarks upon the chemistry of 
the subject, and to the suggestion of more economical and 
effectual processes than are now employed. 

One of the specimens of iron ore sent to Prof. Olmsted, 
from the slate formation, or gold region, proved to be native 
iron. Another was afterwards discovered that weighed 
twenty seven pounds, and a part of it was wrought by the 
blacksmiths, pp. 31 and 108. 

236 Geology of North Carolina, 

In passing westward from the tertiary formation of North 
Carolina, we come to a belt of sandstone, of an average 
width of twelve miles, which Prof. O. denominates the Inde- 
pendent Coal Formation : and he is of opinion that it is a 
continuation of the Richmond coal basin, and that both of 
these belong to that deposit of sandstone, extending, accord- 
ing to Maclure, from Connecticut river to the Rappahannock. 
It crosses the state of North Carolina, but has not been ex- 
amined farther south, though it undoubtedly extends into 
South Carolina. A single bed only of coal ha.s been found 
in North Carolina, not far from the Gulf on Deep river. It is 
about a foot thick, is bituminous, and resembles the Rich- 
mond and Liverpool coal. 

The sandstone of this formation furnishes valuable build- 
ing stones. It is employed also for grindstones and whet- 
stones. Underneath the coal formation, is found a bed of 
millstone grit, which is employed for millstones, which bring 
in market, from thirty to one hundred dollars a pair. 

Very little limestone has been found in connection with 
this coal formation ; though the geological relations of this 
rock in England would lead us to expect it immediately be- 
neath the millstone grit. 

Succeeding to the red sandstone, or coal formation, on 
the west, and forming a belt across the state wider than the 
sandstone, we find what Prof. O. denominates the Great 
Slate Formation, and Prof. Mitchell, the Ancient Transition 
Rocks. The following synopsis of this formation from the 
Report, will give the reader an idea of its geological and 
mineralogical contents. 

1 . Argillite — black, blue, green, lilac, porcelanite ? Alu- 
minous slate, light grey, yellow. 2. Chlorite-— common, 
slaty. 3. Greenstone — unstratified, slaty, trap. 4. Por- 
phyry — green, argillaceous, petro-siliceous. 5. Novacu- 
lite — olive green, oil green, straw yellow, passing into chlo- 
rite slate, passing into talc. 6. Petrosilex. 7. Hornstone — 
yellow, dark green, zoned. 8. Siliceous Slate. 9. Talc — ■■ 
fibrous, radiated, foliated, scaly, indurated. 10. Steatite — 
common soapstone, light flesh red. 11. Sienite. 12. Quartz 
— common, limpid, crystallized, milky, tabular, pseudomor- 
phous, amethystine, granular. 13. Sulphate of Barytes — 
lamellar, compact, granular. 14. Carbonate of Lime. 
15. Epidote — massive, crystallized. 1-6. Tremolite. 17. Au- 
gite — coccolite. 18. Hornblende- — olive green, slaty. 

Geology of North Carolina. 

1.1 J 

19. Breccia — consists of rolled pebbles imbedded in a fer- 
ruginous greenstone ; (Is not this the trap conglomerate of 
Macculloch ?) or in argillite, imbedded in the slate. (Is not 
this gray wacke ?) 20. Serpentine — dark green, pale green, 
iron black. 21. Clays and Ochres — pipe clay, potter's clay, 
saponaceous, porcelain, red and yellow ochres. 22. Iron — 
specular, oxide, magnetic, pyrites, native, brown hematite, 
argillaceous, sulphate. 23. Manganese — black oxide, fer- 
ruginous oxide. 24. Copper — red oxide, green carbonate, 
pyritous. 25. Arsenic — arsenical pyrites. 26. Gold — in 
veins, stream gold. 

From a suite of specimens from this formation, obligingly 
sent to us by Prof. Olmsted, we should be disposed to add to 
the above list, talcose slate and graywacke slate. It is well 
known, however, that the characters of these rocks, are not 
a little dubious. 

We approve of the caution of Prof. Olmsted, in denomi- 
nating this series of rocks the slate formation, rather than the 
transition formation. For he thus makes us acquainted with 
the rocks themselves, as they exist in the arrangement of na- 
ture ; which is of far more importance than to ascertain 
where they should be placed in the system of Werner. 

Some of the members of this slate formation deserve 
more particular notice. 

It is in this formation alone that gold is found in veins, al- 
though the stream gold has been carried to some extent over 
other roeks. According to Mr. Rothe, in No. 2, of the last 
volume of this Journal, the veins of gold are found exclu- 
sively in the greenstone. As, however, the mode of its oc- 
currence and every important circumstance relating to it, 
have been so well described, both in the memoir of Mr. 
Rothe just alluded to, and in another by Prof. Olmsted in a 
former number of this Journal, it is unnecessary, in this 
place, to enter into details. 

Some of the porphyry of this slate formation is very fine 
and well characterized. It occurs in beds and huge bowl- 

* Cleopatra's Needles are stated in the Report, p. 26, to consist of porphyry. 
We have not examined the subject ; but happen to have a specimen of well 
characterized sienitic granite, broken from Pompey^s Pillar, by the missionary 
Fiske, with the following label attached, in his own hand writing. " From 
Pompey's Pillar, at Alexandria. Cleopatra's Needles are of the same kind of 

238 Geology of North Carolina. 

The nbvaculite deserves special attention. We give its 
description in the words of the Report. 

The Hone, or -whet-stone slate, (the Novaculite of Mineral- 
ogists) is by far the most interesting and important among 
this collection of rocks. In my examination of this region, I 
have made it an object to ascertain the localities, and the respec- 
tive qualities and relative values of this substance. It is found 
in the greatest abundance in various parts of the slate formation, 
although the qualities of different beds are various. The most 
valuable bed that I have met with, is about seven miles west of 
Chapel-Hill. It is known by the name of M'Cauley's quarry. 
It has been opened on the summit of a hill, which forms one of 
three parallel ranges extending from north east to south west, 
and composed chiefly of a green slate, called chlorite. The 
hone slate occurs in distinct beds, which present on the top, 
when exposed to view, a more rounded exterior than the slate 
rocks usually do. Although many thousand hones have been 
taken from this spot by travellers and others, yet as the quarry 
has not been wrought for the market, the excavations have been 
carried to a very little depth, and are insufficient to enable one 
to judge fully of the extent of the bed. I think however, that 
there can be no doubt that its extent is quite adequate to the sup- 
ply of the market. Being near the brow of the hill, and the 
bed being perpendicular to the horizon, a large surface on one 
side might very easily be exposed, and thus the quarrying would 
be greatly facilitated. Of those specimens which are found at 
the top of the ground, some are weather-worn and a great dif- 
ference inequality prevails among those that are obtained from 
the same spot. The properties which characterize the best va- 
riety are the following : — 

Color a soft olive green — general aspect, like horn — the thin 
edges, when held up to the light, transparent. 

The olive green color and the transparent edges are, when 
they meet, almost sure indications of a good quality. 

The best of these hones answer with great exactness to the 
description of the genuine Turkej 7 hones, and I have do doubt 
that they are indentical with them. Some of the best speci- 
mens, when polished, present a clouded or chequered surface, 
with a high lustre, and possess no small degree of beauty. Me- 
chanics, in the vicinity of the quarry, frequently supply them- 
selves with masses of eight or ten pounds weight. One side be- 
ing faced, it is used as a hone, and is generally valued in propor- 
tion to the time it has been in use, for thus it acquires smoothness 
and hardness. The quality is frequently much improved by be- 
coming thoroughly soaked with oil, and it probably would be 

Geology of North Carolina. 239 

still farther improved by boiling in oil, a process which is said 
to be practised with the Turkey hones when they happen to be 
too soft. 

The excellence of the hones obtained at M'CauIey's quarry, 
is attested by this fact, that our carpenters lay aside, for them, the 
best Turkey hones of the market. They combine two qualities 
that are particularly esteemed, namely, they wear away fast, and 
set a fine edge; that is, their grit is both fine and sharp. Some 
of them answer well for razors ; but their principal use among 
us is for carpenters' tools. Their value has not yet been settled 
by actual trial ; but several mercantile gentlemen whom I have 
consulted, have been of opinion, that if properly faced and sha- 
ped, their price would not be less than fifty cents per pound by 

tiPPhersoti's quarry, in Chatham five miles west of Woodin's 
ferry, on Haw River, is next in importance. among the whet-stone 
quarries that I have visited. It is lighter colored than the pre- 
ceding, softer, and has a still finer grit. There are several va- 
rieties in the same bed. Some are transparent when in thin 
pieces, and resemble horn ; others are opaque and of a duller as- 
pect. The former are better fitted for oil, the latter for water. 
The prevalent colors are a bluish and yellowish white. The 
grit of these stones is exceedingly fine, and probably razor hones 
of the best quality may be found amongst them. The bed is ex- 
tensive : I have observed it crossing the Salisbury road, a little 
north of the quarry, where the quality is apparently the same. 

On the same road in Randolph, near Deep River, there is found 
a bed of a similar kind, and also highly valued by the inhabitants. 

In the immediate vicinity of Chapel-Hill are several excel- 
lent quarries of whet-stone slate. At Barbee's mill, two miles 
south of this village, is a hill containing a great quantity of this 
article. It is of a yellowish straw color and highly transparent. 

A great number of other localities might be mentioned ; but 
almost every inhabitant of the district now under consideration 
is acquainted with such beds as have been noticed, in his own 

The extent of these beds is commensurate with the great 
slate formation. I have noticed the genuine hone slate, at in- 
tervals, from Flat River, in the eastern part of Person to the 
Narrows of the Yadkin. They are, therefore, quite inexhaus- 
tible, and may become, with suitable enterprise, objects of traf- 
fic that will well reward the industrious. The great quantities 
of this article required to supply the market; the abundance 
and variety of our quarries ; the facilities with which they may 
be wrought ; and above all, their acknowledged excellence and 
superiority, conspire to invite our attention in no ordinary de- 
gree, to this object of enterprise. 

240 Geology of North Carolina. 

Prof. O. pronounces the soapsrone of Orange county to be 
the most elegant he has ever seen. In several places cop- 
per has been found in connection with it. 

The granular sulphate of barytes, of Lincoln county, is 
extremely well characterized ; and it very much resembles in 
appearance srfow white granular carbonate of lime. 

In crossing the strata of the slate formation now described, 
to the west, we fall in next, as might be anticipated, with 
older primary rocks, as mica slate, gneiss and granite. This 
zone of rocks runs across the state in a south western direc- 
tion, and extends westward to the blue ridge. The Report 
denominates it the granitic district, using the term granitic 
in rather a loose and popular sense. The granite lies next to 
the slate formation : next succeeds the gneiss, and then the 
mica slate. Beyond this, and occupying about twenty five 
miles of the western part of the state, lies a formation of ar- 
gillaceous slate, usually denominated transition. 

A remarkable stratum of gneissoid rock occurs in this con- 
nection, which is thus described in the Report. 

Columnar Gneiss ? A remarkable structure in Surry, seven 
miles north of Rockford. It consists of cylindrical masses or col- 
umns lying northeast and southwest, and exhibiting a striking re- 
semblance to logs of wood laid side by side. The columns are 
a foot each in diameter, and where they appear in the bed of a 
creek, they extend unbroken forty or fifty feet in length. They 
are seamed cross-wise at short intervals, and the fragments ap- 
pear like billets of sawn wood. Indeed the whole bears a stri- 
king resemblance to petrified wood, the laminated structue being 
not unlike vegetable fibre. These cylinders rest on gneiss of 
tabular structure, which is susceptible of a division into very 
large parallelopipeds.— This singular formation is only about 
three miles broad. The texture is soft and the fragments are 
used for coarse whet-stones. 

The different varieties of the granite of this district are 
thus described. 

The vicinity of Salisbury affords an example of the best 
building granite. Four and a half miles north of the town is a 
specimen of this kind which is not surpassed by any that I have 
ever seen. It resembles that of Raleigh, which appears very 
advantageously in the new projections of the Capitol ; but the 
Salisbury granite is even superior to that, being more free from 
veins of a harder, coarser kind of the same rock, and conse- 
quently more easily dressed than that of Raleigh. Jt very much 

Geology of North Carolina. 241 

resembles the Chlemsford granite, so much esteemed in Boston 
for architectural purposes, recently appropriated to a noble use 
in constructing the Bunker's Hill monument. It owes its soft- 
ness to the intimate diffusion of the mica. The same kind of 
granite is found at Louisburg, Warrenton, and near Halifax. 

Of the harder kinds of granite of coarse grain, which are 
not susceptible of being dressed, a good example occurs at Dunn's 
mountain, four miles east of Salisbury. The vast masses of hard 
granite (boulders) which are here piled one upon another on 
the summit of this hill, present a very striking and almost sub- 
lime appearance, in a district of country so generally level and 
sandy as the surrounding region. These globular masses rest 
on a base of the same kind of rock which, being full of seams, 
is easily divided into blocks or parallelopipeds of great regular- 
ity^ of which a valuable use is made in the neighboring town. 
They are likewise employed for millstones. 

In the counties of Stokes and Surry, and in several other 
places of the western district, there is found a kind of granite 
containing a large proportion of feldspar in a state of decompo- 
sition, which gives it a loose shelly texture. It is by the de- 
composition of this kind of granite, that the finest varieties of 
porcelain clay are formed ; and accordingly, this is the region 
where we may expect white clays of the most valuable kind ; 
and veins, of fine clay are not unfrequently observed in the fore- 
going rocks. White clays which result from the decomposition 
of feldspar, are suitable for the finest kinds of pottery. It is es- 
sential however, that they should burn white. Some white clays 
contain so much iron as to lose their whiteness on calcination. 
Among the varieties enumerated, that near the Pilot Mountain 
appears to be most worthy of attention. 

The traveller, in going westward over the granite, meets 
with alternate ridges of granite and greenstone, the latter of 
which, Prof. O. supposes to constitute beds in the former. 
Very interesting veins of a rock kindred to the greenstone, 
and which the Report considers basalt, exist also in the gran- 
ite. These constitute the celebrated natural walls of Row- 
an — regarded for a great number of years as artificial, as the 
work of some wonderful people, long since extinct. We 
well recollect what full credence we gave in our boyish days 
to this sapient suggestion, which we found in the geographies 
of those times; and how very wisely our learned pedagogue 
would descant upon the mighty people whose fortifications 
still remained. But alas, science threw a ray of light upon 
these structures, and the magic spell of the antiquary van- 

Voi, XIV.— No. 2. 5 

242 Geology of North Carolina. 

ished in a moment, and these walls stood forth confessedly 
the work of God alone. They are nothing more than dykes 
or veins of trap rock in granite, having that columnar struc- 
ture so common in the rocks of this family : and being more- 
over encrusted with a part of their own substance, partially 
decomposed, which the imagination of an antiquary might 
easily mistake for mortar. Although this rock agrees exactly 
in external characters and composition with the classic Euro- 
pean basalt, yet most of the distinguished French geologists 
seem unwilling to pronounce them identical, from an appre- 
hension that basalt always has a volcanic origin, and that no 
evidence of volcanic action exists in the United States. We 
are aware that there are several instances in geology, in 
which we are obliged to regard rocks as specifically distinct, 
although their external characters and composition are the 
same ; because their origin was unquestionably different* 
But in the case under consideration, we think European geol- 
ogists ought not to require that we should show them extinct 
craters of volcanos, before they will admit the igneous ori- 
gin of our trap rocks. There may be other proofs of such an 
origin quite as conclusive as this ; and if we are not deceiv- 
ed, they are as numerous and decisive in regard to all the 
members of the trap family in this country as in Europe. We 
should, therefore, have no hesitation in pronouncing the rock 
of the natural walls of Rowan to be genuine basalt : al- 
though it may be of a more remote era than that in Europe. 
We have seen no trap rock in our country, whose fracture 
resembles the basalt of the Giant's Causeway so closely as 
this. We subjoin Prof. O.'s description of some of these 

Of the natural walls of Rowan, I made a particular exam- 
ination of only two. The first is about four miles north of Sal- 
isbury, and is known by the name of Jacobs' wall. The dykes 
at this place, (of which their are several,) are narrow, running- 
through a friable kind of granite. We uncovered one which 
exhibited the following characters. 

Width — about eight inches, the sides being smooth planes,, 
and separated from the granite by a thin crust of clay. 

Dip — eastward at an angle of 78 1-2 degress. 

Seamed — at right angles to the sides, dividing the whole into 
very regular prisms, each crossing the wall, and consequently of 
uniform length, but differing in diameter and in the number of 
sides. The ends of these prisms being in the same plane, and 

Geology of North Carolina. 243 

=at right angles to their sides, form the sides of the wall ; and 
since the wall dips eastward, at an angle 78 1-2 degrees, the indi- 
vidual columns of course dip westward at angle of 11 1-2. 

Course of the wall (as near as we could judge without a com- 
pass) south thirty degrees east. 

This dyke though smaller than that at Robley's, on the south 
Yadkin, (which is the one generally intended by the natural 
wall) is still more regular than that, and in every respect more 
interesting. The breadth being so small, and the prismatic col- 
umns lying so closely compacted, we found it easy to remove 
entire sections of the wall, several of which I had put up in 
boxes for the inspection of geologists abroad. Robley's wall 
however, has been extensively visited and is minutely described 
in several publications. The description of it given by Dr. 
Beckwith, in the 5th volume of the American Journal of Science, 
I found to be so accurate as not to require any further obser- 
vations from me. 

The mica slate of the granitic district is interesting on ac- 
count of some valuable imbedded minerals. Among these 
are extensive beds and veins of iron ore, a general account 
of which we have already given. Here occur also beds of 
white primary limestone, with a coarse grain. It is in mica 
slate also, that the very extensive deposit of North Carolina 
plumbago exists. We see not why this bed will not become 
of great value when extensively wrought. An account of it 
is thus given in the Report. 

Plumbago of Wake. 

Locality and extent. — This great deposit of Black Lead lies a 
little westward of Raleigh, and is crossed by all the roads thai 
lead to Hillsborough. On the road to Chapel-Hill, I have ob- 
served it in a gulley within two and a half miles of the capitol, 
which is, I believe, its nearest distance from Raleigh. On the 
same road it is seen again a little west of Mrs. Streeter's ; and 
a short distance north of this place, on the Hillsborough road, is 
one of the largest beds that I have seen any where expo- 
sed to the surface. Its apparent width is about twenty feet. 
On the eastern road to Hillsborough, we fall in with the forma- 
tion soon after passing Crabtree creek, three and a half miles 
from Raleigh. At this place is Guthrie's mine, where the prin- 
cipal excavations have been made, and where has been obtained 
the greater part hitherto exported. 

The whole formation consists of a great number of parallel 
beds varying in width from a few inches to twenty feet. They 
lie in a singular variety of isinglass rock (micaceous shistus) usu- 

244 Geology of North Carolina. 

ally of a bright cherry red, but sometimes of a silvery white 
color. These beds occur throughout a space not less than three 
fourths of a mile wide and ten miles long. To this extent I have; but a land surveyor informed me that he 
had followed it eighteen miles, and found its bearing to be south 
ten degrees east. I have no reason however to suppose, that 
the limits of the plumbago, have been as yet accurately defined. 
I have never read of any mine of plumbago which can com- 
pare in extent with this, but have reason to believe that it is the 
largest mine on record. 

The plumbago may be obtained in large masses unmixed 
with any foreign ingredients 5 but it is frequently more or less 
blended with the rock in which it lies. From this, however, on 
account of its softness and friability, the Plumbago may be easily 
separated by pulverising and washing ; although, probably, a 
sufficient quantity of that which is pure may be obtained to sup- 
ply the market. It would be favorable to the reputation of the 
ore, to have that which is offered for sale well assorted, accor- 
ding to the different qualities. This practice is strictly maintain- 
ed at the celebrated mine in England. 

From Prof. Olmsted's descriptions, and from an inspection 
of specimens in our possession, we are persuaded that an 
important part of what is denominated mica slate in the He- 
port, is the quartz rock of Macculloch. Indeed, as Dr. M. 
calls all those aggregates of quartz and mica, quartz rock, in 
which the quartz predominates, we have no hesitation in 
saying that this is one of the most common rocks of our 
country. We could refer, if it were necessary, to several 
localities, and in almost all of them this rock occupies a 
place next higher, and therefore newer, in the series, than 
mica slate : indeed, it passes insensibly into mica slate, and 
our geologists have hitherto described it as such, except that 
small portion of it which consists of granular quartz alone. 

The flexible sandstone of North Carolina appears to us to 
be a variety of quartz rock. But the most interesting spot 
where quartz rock occurs, is in the pinnacle of Pilot Moun- 
tain, and several adjacent eminences, whose description in 
the Report is too interesting to be omitted. 

The Pilot and Sawratown Mountains. 

In the first glimpse we catch of the Pilot in Rockingham, it 
resembles a magnificent temple with a superb cupola, not un- 
like the picture of St. Peter's at Rome. The uncommon sym- 
metry of its structure is preserved on a much nearer view. 

Geology of North Carolina. 245 

Nothing could exceed the regularity and beauty of its appear- 
ance, as it presented itself to President Caldwell, Professor An- 
drews, and myself, on a summer evening of 1823, while we 
were approaching it from the east a little before sunset. Its 
dark side being towards us, we could the more distinctly observe 
its finished outline, which was still illuminated. The figure now 
presented by its sloping sides and perpendicular summit, was 
that of a triangle, having a portion of its vertex removed and 
replaced by a parallelogram ; while the trees and shrubbery 
that graced the outline, appeared like delicate fringe projected 
on the western sky. We took lodgings at the eastern base of 
the mountain, and waited for morning to make our ascent. Tbe 
sun rose fair, and at an early hour, led by our host, we set for- 
ward for the pinnacle. The country around for a great extent, 
especially to the east and south, though undulating, is still so low 
compared with this eminence, that the latter seems almost to 
rise from an immense plain. In the immediate vicinity the land 
descends a little towards the mountain on every side, which 
therefore literally " swells from the vale." 

Dr. Caldwell and Professor Andrews had provided them- 
selves with a quadrant, and a mountain barometer, for taking el- 
evations, while I was to examine the geology of the mountain. 
A small stream called Grassy creek which runs southerly being 
considered as the true base, at this point we began our observa- 
tions. For more than half the distance from this spot the ascent 
is so gradual, that one may proceed on horseback, the acclivity be- 
ing only about 20° until we reach the Spring, a post of rest and 
refreshment, which was very grateful to our party. The water 
was very cool and pure, its temperature being only 58°, (June 
23d,) which may be regarded as the mean temperature of the 
place for the year. From this spot the ascent becomes more ab- 
rupt, (about twenty five degrees) and those who are unaccustom- 
ed to climbing mountains find it extremely fatiguing. We arrive 
at the pinnacle on the north side, where is the only pass that has 
hitherto been found to the summit. The form of the pinnacle 
is almost perfectly cylindrical, resembling an eminence in the 
western Islands of Scotland, called the Scuir of Egg, but is even 
much more regular than that, (see M'Culloch's western Islands, 
plate 5.) The perpendicular wall is two hundred feet in height; 
and many of the visitants, unaccustomed as they are to alpine 
scenery, are so affected by the bewildering aspect of tbe world 
below them, and so appalled at the idea of hanging on the sides 
of the cliff that frowns over their heads, that no persuasion can 
induce them to ascend the pinnacle. The path is indeed nar- 
row and steep; but it appears when viewed from below, more 
formidable than it really is. In some places the ascent is nearly 

246 Geology of North Carolina. 

perpendicular ; but convenient cavities and projections are found, 
by which the feet and hands may be made sure. The course 
winds along, westwardly, on the side of the cliff, and at length 
passing abruptly over its brow, we find ourselves on the level, 
or rather convex, summit. 

We were two much engrossed by the scenes that expanded 
around us, to proceed with our professional tasks, but seated our- 
selves on the northwestern brow of the pinnacle to enjoy the 
sublimity of the prospect. The air was still, but a hollow roar 
ascended from the plain — the voice of the forest — and not less 
sublime than the roar of the ocean, which it seemed to emulate. 
More than three fourths of the horizon were distinctly in view. 
On the south and southwest spreads an interminable plain meet- 
ing the sky, with a few exceptions, like the ocean itself. On 
the west and north the Blue Ridge presents an outline of unri- 
valled grandeur ; and the Sawratown mountains relieve the eye 
in the most agreeable manner, as it wanders over the undefined 
limits of the eastern horizon. On the southwest at distant in- 
tervals, are caught a few bright of the river Yadkin. 
But after a general survey of the landscape, we gladly turned 
our admiring gaze to the lofty mountains of the west, some of 
which displayed their dark summits above the white insulated 
clouds, that were rolling around them. As the day advanced, 
these clouds began to multiply on the sides of the Blue Ridge, 
covering its acclivities with chequered fields of sun and shade. 
A few of them occasionally wandered towards us over the clear 
blue sky, projecting their dark shadows on the earth, which 
coursed each other majestically over the sunny tops of the hills 
and forests. At length, here and there a cloud rose above the 
Blue Ridge, and distilled a copious shower of rain, as it moved 
along the mountain from west to east, the exact limits of which 
we could easily define, the sun still shining on all the regions 
around. Each successive cloud diverged farther and father to 
the east, until a shower, accompanied by lightning and thunder, 
was approaching the Pilot, and forced us to descend from the 
pinnacle and take shelter under one of its shelving rocks. Here 
we had leisure to exchange our expressions of delight and ad- 
miration ; and some of the party who had viewed scenery in 
populous and cultivated regions that was more beautiful, still ac- 
knowledged, that they had never witnessed any that contained 
more of the elements of the true sublime. Serenity was short- 
ly restored to the sky, and we proceeded with our respective 
tasks. The following are some of the results ascertained by 
President Caldwell and Professor Andrews. 

1. Height of the Pilot Mountain from a base line 
near Grassy creek to the top of the trees, - 1551 feet. 

Geology of North Carolina. 247 

2. Elevation of the pinnacle on the north side at 

the place of ascent, - - 205 feet 

3. Elevation of the same on the south side, - 250 " 

4. Highest perpendicular rock on the south side, 214 " 
The height of the Pilot Mountain and of its rocky castle, as 

indicated by the foregoing measurements, appears so inconsider- 
able when compared with the summits of the Alps and the An- 
des, that one accustomed to scale those aerial heights, would 
perhaps smile at the representation we have given, of the lofty 
emotions inspired by the view from this comparatively humble 
eminence ; but he would neglect the consideration that the Pilot 
stands alone, and does not lose its majesty among surrounding 
heights — that the neighbouring country for forty of fifty miles 
around is, with a few exceptions, comparatively a plain — that 
those who ascend this mountain, have just emerged from a re- 
gion over which, for a great extent, the prospects are obstruc- 
ted, and even the horizon concealed, by boundless forests — and 
finally that the Pilot Mountain is a most favorable post of obser- 
vation for viewing the Blue Ridge, in its sublimest attitude, pre- 
senting to the eye at once a varied but unbroken chain of lofty 
eminences, that stretch over nearly one hundred and eighty de- 
grees of the horizon. 

While my companions were employed in these observations, I 
had begun an examination of the geological structure of the 
pinnacle. A foot path running close to its base conducts one, 
without the least obstruction, quite round the circle, and no op- 
portunity could be more favorable for remarking the different 
kinds of rocks and their relative position. In the geology of 
the pinnacle, there is something quite remarkable and curious ; 
and the geologist will linger around its base with as much de- 
light and admiration, as he gazes upon the landscape from its 
summit. The pinnacle is made up chiefly of mica slate and 
quartz ; but each exhibits peculiar and interesting characters. 
Its rocky wall is full of rents from top to bottom, and it is also 
regularly stratified, the strata dipping easterly at an angle of 
only ten degress. By these parallel seams, the whole is divided 
into tabular masses. The most abundant rock, is a peculiar kind 
of mica slate or grit rock, composed of very fine granular quartz 
with flesh-red mica intimately disseminated. The texture is ex- 
quisitely fine, and the cohesion so loose that it may be frequently 
crumbled between the fingers into the finest white sand. 

At a mill near the river Ararat, I saw a pair of millstones, 
said to have been quarried from an eminence on the northwest 
side of the Pilot. They consisted of quartz rock, somewhat 
resembling French burrh, and appeared to be of an excellent 
quality. Grindstones also are quarried from the grit rock of 
these mountains. 

348 Geology of North Carolina. 

After feasting for a week on the native luxuries of the Pilot, 
we next passed a few miles eastward to the Sawratown moun- 
tains, which we ascended at the highest point of elevation, cal- 
led Moore's mountain. This eminence though higher than the 
Pilot, is less difficult and perilous in the ascent, but is still suffi- 
ciently laborious. The view which its summit presents, is simi- 
lar to the other; and if the outline of the Blue Ridge loses a lit- 
tle of its grandeur by a small increase of distance, the loss is 
more than compensated by the Pilot itself, which stamps on the 
landscape a most beautiful feature. The scenery that adorns the 
sides of Moore's Mountain, is also of a highly interesting char- 
acter. On the ascent we are conducted to a cascade, which > 
though small, is eminently pleasing to the eye, presenting sud- 
denly to the visiter, in a chasm between perpendicular rocks, 
sixty five feet in height, a narrow sheet of silvery foam, falling 
first down a precipice thirty feet, and then rolling down an in- 
clined plain with peculiar grace and beauty. This water-fall 
is so hidden among inaccessible rocks, as to be known to very 
few persons, and remained without a name. But our party, 
learning that Mr. Schweinitz, the distinguished botanist, had re- 
cently penetrated to this spot in pursuing his favorite objects 
among the mountains, and had expressed a high admiration of 
its romantic scenery^ we agreed with one consent to designate it 
afterwards by the name of Schweiniiz Falls. 

On our return we visited the celebrated grotto called the To- 
ry House. The access to it on all sides is precipitous and diffi- 
cult. Hence it was selected during the Revolutionary war by a 
number of tories, forming a party of maurauders, who, like 
Scottish Highlanders of former times, sallied forth now and then 
upon the neighbouring low-lands, and plundered the inhabitants. 
In this secluded spot, we discovered an arched entrance, through 
which we passed, and found ourselves in a vaulted cavern of ve- 
ry regular structure fifteen feet high, fifty feet long and twenty 
feet wide in the center, but converging towards the farther end. 
The arch is throughout remarkably well turned ; hardly a knob 
or angular point appears to impair the smoothness of the sur- 
face. The rocks consist of angular pieces of quartz, so wedged 
as to fit each other with great precision, and of white mecaceous 
rocks nicely pared by the hand of nature to the same level. 

We returned from our excursions with a full conviction, that 
if the summit of the Sawratown mountains had inspired us with 
emotions less sublime than that of the Pilot, yet it was only be- 
cause we had there taken our first view of the landscape. 

For measuring the elevation of Moore's mountain, a good sta- 
tion is obtained on the Banks of Dan River, which flows at its 
base. From such an observation Messrs. Caldwell and Andrews 

Geology of North Carolina. 249 

ascertained the height of this mountain to he one thousand eight 
hundred and thirty three feet, and consequently two hundred and 
eighty two feet greater than the highest point of the Pilot. 

From different persons who had attended us in our rambles over 
these mountains, we had heard frequent mention made of the pin- 
nacles of the Dan — remarkable eminences, where the head waters 
of the Roanoke find their way through the Blue Ridge. Every 
one who had visited this spot, described its scenery in terms that 
made us impatient to see it ; and, though it is within the limits 
of Virginia, and therefore aside from the route which we had 
prescribed to ourselves, yet our curiosity was too much awaken- 
ed to permit us to rest, and we set off for this region of won- 
ders. A day's ride from Moore's mountain brought us to the 
base of the Blue Ridge ; and having provided ourselves with 
guides, we set off early in the morning for the pinnacles of the 
Dan, and reached the top of the ridge long before the sun, (which 
shone gloriously on the conical mountains that form an interes- 
ting series a little eastward of the main ridge,) had removed 
the vale of night from the profound vallies that lay at our feet. 
I cannot, without wandering too far from the principal objects of 
this Report, attempt a description of the feelings with which we 
traversed this region of the clouds, where " Great Nature dwells 
in awful solitude." The ridge is so well defined in some places, 
that we were at one time within a stone's throw of the waters 
that empty into the Mississippi on the one side, and of those that 
empty into the Atlantic on the other. Of the former are the 
head waters of New River, and of the latter are the remotest 
fountains of the Yadkin and the Roanoke. The pinnacles of the 
Dan are sharp conical peaks, rising twelve or fifteen hundred 
feet above the bed of Dan river, and converging so nearly to a 
point, that one standing on the vertex may almost reach round 
the mountain with his cane. There are several of these sharp 
peaks which together constitute the "pinnacles." The mica 
slate rocks at their base project their perpendicular strata (cal- 
led by the inhabitants saw teeth) into the stream, first on one side 
then on the other, forcing it in a zigzag course down the declivi- 
ty, and maintaining an obstinate and angry conflict with its 

In the primary region of North Carolina are several min- 
eral springs, two of which are described in the Report. 
From an analysis of the Catawba Springs, Prof. O. concludes 
that their chief mineral ingredient is sulphate of lime, (eigh- 
ty-eight grains in a gallon,) with eight grains to the gallon of 
sulphate of magnesia. The Rockingham Springs appear to 
be more strongly impregnated. Some slight experiments 

Vok. XIV.— No. 1. 6 

250 Geology of North Carolina. 

showed them to contain sulphur, carbonic acid, and several 
salts of lime. 

In the county of Rockingham, Prof. O. found a wedge 
shaped patch of what he calls a transition formation, coming 
in from Virginia among the primary rocks. We should 
judge it to be a coal formation, as it contains sandstone, 
shale, and coal. It is remarkable also for lignites. 

But a more singular substance, which had been mistaken by 
the inhabitants for coal, is found at Col. Winston's, two miles 
east of Germanton. It consists of the remains of trees, some- 
times lying scattered loosely over the ground in small billets, 
and sometimes presenting to view entire trunks, obeying the 
general direction and inclination of the rocky strata, affording 
another example of a subterranean forest similar to that found on 
the River Neuse, and before described under the name of Lignite, 
(see page 98.) These fragments and trunks of fossil wood ap- 
pear in the road for a distance of a mile and a half east of Ger- 
manton, reaching to the foot of the hill on which that town is 
built, that is, to the very extremity of the transition formation 
itself. The fragments that are scattered over the surface are 
frequently so much altered by exposure, that they resemble 
common petrified wood ; but those specimens which are taken 
fresh from their bed, are invested with bark perfectly reduced 
to coal, and of a shining black color. The ligneous structure is 
less apparent in the mass. In a blacksmith's forge they burn 
with a yellowish flame, slightly tinged with green, emitting the 
odour of gunpowder, and finally melt into a yellowish black glass. 

The best view of the lignite is in the bed of a small river, 
near a saw-mill, where entire and very perfect trunks of trees 
are seen between the open layers of a coarse fragmented rock 
very much resembling granite. These trunks lie parallel with 
each other, and appear between the rocks formed, as though by 
compression, into flattened cylinders or ellipsoids, the diameters 
of the elliptical bases or ends being respectively twenty four and 
nine inches. The ends of large trunks exhibiting the same 
oval shape frequently project out of the banks. Here the for- 
mation terminates on the south, resting against a hill of mica 
slate, the strata of which and the transition rocks, dip in oppo- 
site directions, resting against each other and forming a roof. 

We wish now to ask the intelligent legislator, who may 
cast his eye over this analysis, whether such a developement 
of internal resources as this Report exhibits, does not amply 

Dr. Beck on the Chlorides of Soda, Lime, fyc. 25 1 

remunerate the state of North Carolina for the comparative- 
ly trifling expense of this survey; and whether so great suc- 
cess, attending the efforts of an individual, who was obliged 
at the same time to execute the duties of an arduous profes- 
sorship, does not strongly recommend that this example be 
followed by the other states of the union ? It ought to be 
remembered, that no state was supposed to be more desti- 
tute of mineral riches than this; so that a distinguished min- 
eralogist, a few years since, said to a traveller passing that 
way, that, " he would find nothing there of any interest. 1 ' 
Yet now, what portion of the union exceeds, or even equals 
that state, in its mineralogy ? And we believe that similar 
■disclosures would, to a greater or less extent, attend every 
similar effort conducted judiciously and perseveringly. 

In conclusion, we take the opportunity to express our grat- 
ification, that although Prof. Olmsted is now removed to an- 
other, though a kindred sphere of action, he does not forget, 
as the pages of this Journal testify, those branches of science 
which for years he was called to teach, and which he cultiva- 
ted so assiduously and successfully. 

Art. IV. — On the Nature of the Bleaching- and Disinfecting 
Compounds, denominated Chlorides of Soda, Lime, &c. ; 
by Lewis C. Beck, M. D. Professor of Chemistry, &c. in 
the Vermont Academy of Medicine. 

The chief design of the following communication is to en- 
quire into the nature of those compounds which have been 
called, as I conceive improperly, Chlorides or Chlorurets of 
Soda, Lime, &c. As tributary to this object, I shall also 
notice the manner in which these compounds are obtained, 
and their mode of operation as disinfecting agents. 

Preparation. — There is nothing peculiar in the prepara- 
tion of the compounds under consideration. All that is ne- 
cessary is to subject the hydrates or solutions of potassa, 
soda, lime, and indeed of any of the fixed alkalies or earths, 
to the action of a current of chlorine gas. If instead of these, 
we pass a stream of the gas through solutions of the carbo- 
nated alkalies, equally efficient compounds are produced : 

252 Dr. Beck on the Chlorides of Soda, Lime, fyc. 

and we shall hereafter see that other salts may also be em- 
ployed for the same purpose. 

The substance which has received the name of Labarra- 
que's disinfecting liquid, is prepared according to his own 
formula, as follows : 2800 grains of crystalized carbonate of 
soda are dissolved in 1.28 pints of water; being put into a 
glass, two-thirds of the chlorine, evolved from a mixture of 
967 grains of salt with 750 grains of oxide of manganese, 
when acted upon by 967 grains of oil of vitriol, previously 
diluted with 750 grains of water, are to be passed into it.* 

This liquid may also be obtained in the manner proposed 
by M. Payen, which consists in the mutual decomposition of 
chloride of lime and carbonate of soda. But this method 
will seldom be employed, as all the valuable purposes of 
the article can be attained by the use of the compound of 
chlorine and lime alone. This is now so extensively employ- 
in the process of bleaching that there is little difficulty in 
obtaining it at any time. When it cannot be procured, 
however, solutions of lime or soda may be easily charged 
with chlorine gas, in the manner represented in the annex- 
ed cut. 


Into the florence flask introduce manganese, common salt, 
and dilute sulphuric acid, in the proportions above mention- 
ed ; — taking «are that it is not more than a third filled. The 
bottle may contain lime water, or solution of soda, or its 

* I quote from Faraday's paper on Labarraque's liquid, in Brande's Journal, 
N. S. V. 2, p. 84 ; not having the original formula at hand. 

Dr. Beck on the Chlorides of Soda, Lime, fyc. 253 

carbonate ; and should be kept at the temperature of 60° F. 
or below. Having now adjusted to the mouth of the flask, 
a bent tube, with one leg passing to the bottom of the vessel 
containing the solution, the heat of a lamp or of a few coals 
is to be applied to the flask. By this means chlorine is evolv- 
ed and is absorbed by the solution. The heat should be 
continued till the evolution of chlorine has nearly ceased, 
which will generally be from fifteen to twenty minutes. The 
clear fluid is now to be decanted. It is the disinfecting 

This disinfecting compound may, therefore, be obtained in 
either of the following ways : viz. 

1 . By dissolving in water the common bleaching powder, 
usually denominated chloride of lime. 

2. By passing a stream of chlorine gas through solutions 
of lime, soda, &c. 

3. By passing a stream of chlorine through a solution of 
carbonate of soda, or by adding chloride of lime to dissolved 
carbonate of soda. 

Chemical constitution. — Upon this subject there has been, 
and still is, considerable dispute. I shall first advert briefly 
to some opinions which have been suggested, and then offer 
my own views. 

M. Labarraque, to whom is due the discovery of the disin- 
fecting nature of these compounds, does not appear to have 
understood their chemical composition, or the manner in 
which they act upon putrid matters. He, however, calls 
them chlorides or chlorurets of lime or soda (chlorures diox- 
ide de calcium, and dioxide de sodium.) This name, though 
without much propriety, they have generally retained. 

Dr. Granville, whose paper on this subject is published in 
a late number of Brande's Journal, gives it as his opinion 
that the solution of chloride of soda, so called, is a mixture 
of dry chloride of sodium and neutral chlorate of soda, with 
an excess of chlorine equal to twice the bulk of the water 
employed in preparing the liquid according to Labarraque's 
own formula. He infers that no such compound as chloride 
of soda exists in this liquid, and proposes for it the simple 
name of disinfecting liquid of soda. 

In another part of his paper Dr. Granville undertakes to 
show that the singular properties of this liquid are owing 
solely to the chlorine, and in no way to the agency of the 
salts contained in it. 

254 Dr. Beck on the Chlorides of Soda, Lime, fyc. 

These views are controverted by Richard Phillips, who 
contends that admitting no such compound as chloride of 
soda exists, the explanation of Dr. Granville cannot apply 
in the case of chloride of lime. As a proof that the action 
of chloride of soda does not depend upon the mere gas 
which it holds in solution, he adduces the fact that it does 
not, even by ebullition lose its bleaching properties, and that 
it also retains its power, to a considerable extent, after evap- 
oration to dryness. He also offers some other objections to 
the results of Dr. Granville's analysis, which it is not import- 
ant to detail.* 

Upon Dr. Granville's paper Mr. Faraday remarks — " Un- 
fortunately Dr. Granville has mistaken M. Labarraque's di- 
rection, and by passing chlorine ' to complete saturation,' 
through the carbonate, instead of using the quantities di- 
rected, has failed in obtaining Labarraque's really curious 
and very important liquid ; to which, in consequence, not 
one of his observations or experiments applies, although the 
latter are quite correct in themselves."! 

Having mentioned these names it may be considered pre- 
sumptuous in me to interfere in the controversy. But it is 
proper to remark, that the views I am about to offer were 
formed long before I was aware that the subject was under* 
going discussion abroad, and were matured without particu- 
lar reference to it. I claim attention to them only so far as 
they are supported by facts and experiments. 

To arrive at correct conclusions concerning the nature of 
the substances under investigation, it is necessary that we 
should accurately examine all the circumstances which at- 
tend their formation, and the conditions which appear to be 
essential for this purpose. 

The first point deserving of attention is, that chlorine will 
not combine with the oxides of the alkaline or earthy metals 
when perfectly dry. In the case of lime this has been abun- 
dantly proved by Dr. Ure. He states that he exposed dry 
lime in fine powder to a copious stream of chlorine for four 
days, but that even at the end of that time the powder had 
not sensibly increased in weight.J The same may be said of 
the oxides of the other above named metals : I believe it is 

' "Philosophical Magazine and Annals, vol. 1, pp. 377, 378. 
| Brande's Journal, New Series, vol. 2, p. 92. 
| Chemical Dictionary, 2d edition. 

Dr. Beck on the Chlorides of Soda, Lime, $c. 255 

an established law, that they are not susceptible of combina- 
tion with chlorine at ordinary temperatures, when both are 
completely deprived of water. When these oxides are ex- 
posed to a high heat, chlorine effects their decomposition ; 
— oxygen being disengaged, the chlorine combines with their 
metallic bases. But these compounds of chlorine and the 
metals do not possess any bleaching or disinfecting powers. 

If instead of employing the dry oxides of sodium, calcium, 
&-c. we take the hydrates of these oxides, or their solutions, 
and pass through these a stream of chlorine gas, their weight 
will in every case be increased, and we shall obtain com- 
pounds possessed of bleaching and disinfecting properties. 

To what then shall we ascribe the difference in the results 
obtained ? The presence of water is the only circumstance 
in which the cases are not parallel, and we must therefore 
look to this as influencing, in a great measure, the formation 
of these compounds. 

Another fact worthy of notice, is, that chlorine, when per- 
fectly dry, exerts no action upon vegetable colors, and proba- 
bly not upon putrid substances, though I am not aware that 
the latter has been settled by experiment. But water at low 
temperatures, dissolves or absorbs chlorine in considerable 
quantity, and this solution has the property of discharging 
vegetable colors, and was indeed for a long time employed 
exclusively in the process of bleaching. This solution, if kept 
in well stopped bottles, will retain its powers for a great length 
of time ; but if it is exposed to the air, or if its temperature is 
raised, chlorine is evolved and with it all the bleaching pow- 
ers of the solution are lost. 

Having premised these remarks, I shall first notice the 
combination of chlorine with solution of soda. 

When a stream of chlorine gas is passed through a solu- 
tion of soda, after the manner directed by M. Labarraque, 
the chlorine is absorbed, and as it is said, a chloride of 
soda is formed. But if additional quantities of chlorine 
are transmitted through the solution after variable periods 
of time, decompositions take place and new definite com- 
pounds are produced, which are permanent and can be 
obtained in a separate state by subsequent analysis. These 
changes consist in the decomposition of water, the formation 
of chloric and muriatic acids, and the combination of these 
with the soda, forming the chlorate and the muriate of that 
alkali. In whatever manner these changes are effected, the 

256 Dr. Beck on the Chlorides of Soda, Lime, fyc. 

correctness of the results is sufficiently proved in the ordinary 
process of obtaining chlorate of soda. 

If then chlorate and muriate of soda (when dry, chloride 
of sodium) result from the long continued action of a stream 
of chlorine in a solution of soda, the chloride of soda, if it. 
existed at all, must have existed previous to the formation of 
these acids and their action upon the soda. But as we shall 
hereafter see, there is, previous to these decompositions, noth- 
ing in the compound which could not have been obtained by 
passing chlorine through water without the addition of soda ; 
much less is there any evidence of a combination, in definite 
proportions between the chlorine and soda. 

If now instead of the solution of soda we employ the car- 
bonate of that alkali, nearly the same phenomena will be 
presented upon the introduction of chlorine. Following the 
formula of Labarraque, we shall obtain his disinfecting liquid, 
and that as Mr. R. Philips and Mr. Faraday have asserted, 
without the evolution of a particle of carbonic acid. If this 
is the fact, and the authority of these chemists is perhaps con- 
clusive upon a matter so easy of proof, it follows that the 
carbonate of soda remains entire in the solution. 

But when this process is long continued, decompositions 
take place, similar to those which have been previously men- 
tioned. Chloric and muriatic acids are formed, and these 
combine with the soda, and as a necessary consequence car- 
bonic acid is disengaged. 

Desirous of ascertaining whether there was any thing pe- 
culiar in the solution of soda and the carbonate, I prepared 
a saturated solution of sulphate of soda, in water at 50° F. 
and passed through it from two to three volumes of chlorine. 
The solution assumed a yellowish color, and bleached indigo 
and turmeric powerfully. The same results were produced 
when I charged in like manner a solution of alum. In effi- 
ciency, so far as bleaching is concerned, I could discover no 
difference in the two last compounds and a like solution of 
carbonate of soda and chlorine. 

Let us now pause for a moment, and bring into a narrow 
compass the facts which have been stated. It has been 
shown that these bleaching liquids may be formed : 

1st By passing chlorine into a solution of soda. 

2d. By passing chlorine into a solution of carbonate of 

Dr. Beck on the Chlorides of Soda, Lime, fyc. 257 

3d. By passing chlorine into a solution of sulphate of soda ; 
and that too in the case of the carbonate without the disen- 
gagement of a particle of carbonic acid, and in that of the 
sulphate without the separation of a drop of sulphuric acid. 
Now as these substances remain entire in the solution, if the 
properties of bleaching and disinfecting which appear to 
characterize the compounds under review, depend upon 
definite or chemical combinations of chlorine with the sub- 
stances held in solution, — each of the above must be distinct 
chemical combinations, though possessing similar proper- 
ties ; — and it is probable that a new chemical compound 
would be formed every time chlorine is transmitted, through 
a different saline solution, and that too without having ef- 
fected the least decomposition. This absurdity may be 
avoided by referring these properties to a cause which exists 
in each, and which is adequate to the explanation of all the 
phenomena, viz. — the absorption of chlorine by the water in 
each of these solutions. 

I am now prepared to notice some seeming objections to 
this view of the subject. 

It is asserted by Mr. Phillips that the chloride of soda, as 
he terms it, retains its bleaching property to a considerable 
extent after evaporation to dryness. But this does not form 
an objection to the view which I have taken, unless he means 
to apply the term dryness in an absolute sense. This, how- 
ever, cannot be the meaning of the author, for I am satisfied 
that a temperature sufficiently elevated to drive off all the 
water, will at the same time expel the whole of the chlorine ; 
except, indeed, so much as is contained in the stable com- 
pounds, chloride of sodium and chlorate of soda. This total 
discharge of chlorine, as we shall hereafter show, is effected 
by mere exposure to the air, or more speedily, by the agency 
of a stream of carbonic acid, and it would be strange if the 
application of heat necessary to drive off all the water should 
not produce the same effect. Yet we should not be surpris- 
ed , if the evaporation was carefully conducted, that the resi- 
duum, when apparently dry, should still retain a small quan- 
tity of water, and that this last, holding in solution a portion 
of chlorine, should exert feeble bleaching and disinfecting 

It is stated by Mr. Faraday, that a portion of Labarraque's 
liquor, prepared by passing chlorine through solution of car- 
bonate of soda, being boiled, gave out no chlorine ; " it seem- 

Vol. XIV.— No. 2. 7 

258 Dr. Beck on the Chlorides of Soda, Lime, fyc, 

ed but little changed by the operation, having the same pe- 
culiar taste, and nearly the same bleaching power as before/'' 
From this he infers, that the chlorine is not in the ordinary 
state of solution, either in water or in a saline fluid ; " for 
ebullition will freely carry off the chlorine under the latter 
circumstances. 1 '* 

Two circumstances are worthy of notice in this experi- 
ment, viz. 1st. that no chlorine was given off during ebulli- 
tion ; — and 2d. that after the operation the solution retained 
bleaching powers. 

The first of these may be accounted for by a fact stated 
in a subsequent part of Mr. Faraday's paper, which is, that 
by boiling this liquid a part of the chlorine acts upon the al- 
kali, to form chloride and chlorate. We should therefore 
expect the disengagement of carbonic acid rather than of 
chlorine ; but the evolution of chlorine or carbonic acid, or 
both, depends upon the time the boiling is continued.! 

To ascertain whether the second was peculiar to Labarra- 
que's liquid, I took portions of the solutions of sulphate of 
soda and sub sulphate of alumine and potash, charged with 
chlorine as before mentioned, and subjected them to heat in 
glass vessels. After having been heated for five, and boiled 
for three minutes, portions were taken out and tested with 
indigo, and they were found still to bleach, although not so 
powerfully as before. Even after five minutes rapid boiling, 
they still had an effect upon the above test. — In each of 
these cases, however, chlorine was given off during the ebul- 
lition ; a fact arising as I conceive, not from any difference 
in the state of the chlorine, but in the nature of the salts held 
in solution. 

I am not prepared at present to offer a satisfactory expla- 
nation of these phenomena; but it would appear from these 
and other experiments of a similar nature, that any saline 
substance held in solution by water, either by increasing its 
density or otherwise, tends to prevent or retard the eseape of 
chlorine in a gaseous state. For it is freely admitted that 
ebullition will completely disengage the chlorine held in so- 
lution by pure water. It would be an interesting subject of 

* Faraday's paper as before referred to. 

| When this liquid is boiled for a length of time, I am satisfied that chlorine 
is given off and that it loses much of its bleaching, power, although it may be 
boiled so as not to evolve chlorine. 

Dr. Beck on the Chlorides of Soda, Lime, fyc. 269 

research to determine whether other gaseous bodies are sim- 
ilarly affected in such solutions. 

Before leaving this part of the subject I shall notice one 
other peculiarity in which the mere watery solution of chlo- 
rine resembles those of the salts, which have been the subject 
of experiment. 

It was ascertained by Mr. Faraday, that when a portion of 
Labarraque's liquor was evaporated by exposure to air, crys- 
tals were formed resembling those of carbonate of soda, 
but which did not possess the slightest bleaching power. 

Upon exposing to air, a solution of sulphate of soda char- 
ged with chlorine, for three days, the bottom of the vessel 
was covered with crystals resembling this salt. But when 
these crystals were dried between folds of thin paper and 
rubbed down in water to near saturation, they had not the 
least effect upon indigo or turmeric. 

A pint of rain water was charged with chlorine until it 
bleached powerfully. Equal quantities of this watery solution 
were put into two porcelain vessels of equal size ; the one 
exposed to a temperature of about 25° F. the other to a tem- 
perature of between 40° and 45°. At the end. of fourteen 
hours a crust of ice, half an inch in thickness, was formed on 
the surface of the former ; this was carefully detached and 
dried as much as possible, by filtering paper at a low tem- 
perature. It had a faint smell of chlorine, but when dissolv- 
ed in water at 45° it exhibited no bleaching powers, while 
the unfrozen water of this same vessel appeared to have lost 
none of its effieiency upon indigo or turmeric, nor had the 
solution from the other vessels, exposed at 45°, at all deterio- 
rated. Portions of these different solutions were now added to 
equal portions of solution of indigo, with papers of turmeric, 
and set aside for two days, taking care to preserve an unifor- 
mity of temperature throughout the whole progress of the 
experiment. At the expiration of this time, the dissolved ice 
had not in the least degree changed the color of the indigo, 
but the turmeric paper was slightly reddened ; — the other so- 
lutions were perfectly colorless. 

These experiments, as I conceive, warrant the conclusion, 
that the process of free and perfect crystalization destroys 
the bleaching powers of these substances, by the expulsion 
of chlorine. Is it probable that any definite compound of 
chlorine would be destroyed by this cause ? 

260 Dr. Beck on the Chlorides of Soda, Lime, fyc. 

Passing now to the supposed chemical compound of chlo- 
rine and lime, it will be found that the explanations above 
given, and the arguments employed, will also apply. 

It has been stated that dry lime in fine powder, though 
exposed to a copious stream of chlorine for several days, 
does not sensibly increase in weight. It may now be added, 
that when chlorine gas is transmitted through the proto-hy- 
drate of lime, there is an increase of weight in the proportion 
of fifty to sixty per cent. It is, however, important to re- 
mark, that this increase is by no means definite, but varies 
according to circumstances, depending chiefly upon the skill 
of the manufacturer. 

The proto-hydrate of lime is supposed to be composed of 
one proportional of pure lime, and one proportional of water. 
This, when exposed to an atmosphere of chlorine, is con- 
verted, according to Welter, into a sub chloride, which, ac- 
cording to him, is composed of 

2 proportionals of lime, 
2 " of water^ 

1 " of chlorine. 

The same chemist asserts, that when the above is mixed 
with water, it is immediately decomposed ; one half of the 
lime is precipitated, and the other half remains in solution, 
combined with the whole of the chlorine, and consequently 
forming a neutral chloride. The sub chloride is obtained by 
saturating hydrate of lime with chlorine, and the neutral 
chloride by dissolving the sub chloride in water, or by sat- 
urating lime dispersed through water, with chlorine. 

The experiments of Dr. Ure are at variance with these 
ideas. He found that the solid residuum of a portion of the 
powder, (sub chloride of lime) left on the filter after two suc- 
cessive solutions, contained a notable quantity of chlorine, 
from which he infers, that the chloride is but sparingly solu- 
ble in water. And he remarks that he could never observe 
that partition occasioned by water in the elements of the 
powder of which Mr. Dalton, and M. Welter speak.* 

It appears, therefore, that no certain evidence exists, that 
there is, in the above case, a definite compound of chlorine 
and lime. All the phenomena presented by this powder can 

* Chsmical Dictionary, 2d edition. The existence of the sub chloride of lime 
is also disputed by M. Houton Labillardiere. See Tlienard, 5th ed. vol. 2, p. 

Dr. Beck on the Chlorides of Soda, Lime, fyc. 261 

be explained, and all the differences among chemists recon- 
ciled, by the adoption of the principles heretofore advanced. 

The water contained in the hydrate of lime is essential to 
the absorption of chlorine, and we have just seen that the 
amount of chlorine absorbed depends upon the amount of 
water. Thus, when the pure proto-hydrate is employed, no 
more chlorine is absorbed, than would have been taken up 
by the same amount of water, without the lime. Hence we 
can account for that apparent partition of the elements of 
the powder when more water is added ; and hence also the 
reason why the powder, thus prepared, should have been con- 
sidered as a sub chloride. But when to the proto-hydrate we 
supply an additional quantity of water, more chlorine is ab- 
sorbed, for the very reason that more water is present ; and the 
residuum obtained in this case, when apparently dry, con- 
tains a larger quantity of chlorine than in the former case, 
when in fact it contains also a larger quantity of water. 

The fact stated by Dr. Ure, that the combination of chlo- 
rine with the hydrate of lime follows no atomic proportion, 
and the well known fact that different commercial samples 
of the bleaching powder contain variable proportions of chlo- 
rine, accord with the remarks just made. For with equal 
care, the quantity of chlorine and consequently the efficiency 
of the compound depends upon the quantity of water, either 
combined or in contact with the lime. 

Thus it is evident, that there is a strict analogy in the phe- 
nomena presented by the three supposed distinct compounds 
which I have examined. In each, water is essential to the 
absorption of chlorine ; in each, the amount of chlorine de- 
pends upon the quantity of water ; and in each, by exposure 
to air or to heat, the chlorine is evolved or gives rise to two 
new acid compounds, which are definite and combine with 
the bases forming muriates and chlorates. They are alike 
possessed of the properties of bleaching and disinfecting, — 
properties which are peculiar, and which belong also to a 
simple solution of chlorine in water. Now it is conceived 
more rational to refer these properties, in every case, to the 
same cause, provided this cause is constantly present, than 
to suppose that they belong to several distinct chemical com- 
pounds, as of chlorine and soda, chlorine and the carbonate 
of soda, chlorine and lime, &c. ; and particularly so when 
with a single exception, (the oxide of chlorine,) the known 
and acknowledged definite compounds of chlorine do not 
possess these peculiarities. 

26$ Dr. Beck on the Chlorides of Soda, Lime, <§-c. 

We are therefore forced to the conclusion, 

1st, That there are no definite compounds of chlorine and 
soda, or of chlorine and lime. Analogy would lead us to ex- 
tend this to all the metallic oxides ; and we might hazard 
the general assertion that chlorine is not susceptible of com- 
bination, in definite proportions, with the metallic oxides, at 
any temperature, or under any circumstances. For it should 
be recollected that in consequence of the superior attraction 
of chlorine for the metals, whenever the oxides are highly 
heated in contact with it, oxygen is evolved, and a chloride 
of the metal is formed. 

2d, That the bleaching and disinfecting powers of the sup- 
posed chlorides of soda, lime, &c, depend upon the chlorine 
held in solution by the water which exists in the hydrated 
oxides, or in which these oxides are dissolved or suspended ; 
and that the same explanation will apply to the various sa- 
line solutions which exhibit these powers. 

Mode of operation. — The first correct views upon this sub- 
ject were suggested by Gay Lussac in his memoir on chlori- 
metry, who states that a solution of the bleaching powder, 
abandoned to the air is gradually decomposed ; a portion of 
the lime combines with the carbonic acid contained in the 
atmosphere, and the chlorine is at the same time disengag- 
ed. He also shows, that this decomposition is retarded by 
keeping constantly an excess of lime in the solution. These 
views have been fully confirmed by the experiments of Gaul- 
tier de Claubry, which may indeed be considered conclusive 
on this point. 

A solution of well saturated chloride of lime was submitted 
to the action of carbonic acid gas. After a few moments, 
there was a disengagement of chlorine, and by continuing 
the operation for a sufficient time, the whole of this gas was 
expelled. The liquid no longer exerted any action on col- 
ors, not even on infusion of litmus. Carbonate of lime was 
precipitated, which was afterwards redissolved in the excess 
of carbonic acid. 

Air passed through a solution of potassa, rendered caustic 
by lime, produced no action on the solution of chloride of 
lime. But when the latter solution was abandoned to the 
air for some time, it lost its power of acting on vegetable 
colors, and a precipitate of lime was produced. 

The following experiments were performed by M. de Clau- 
bry, to ascertain still more directly what takes place during 

Dr. Beck on the Chlorides of Soda, Lime, fyc. 263 

the action of a compound of chlorine on air impregnated with 
putrid miasmata. 

" Air blown through blood which had been left for eight 
days to putrefaction, and which disengaged an insupporta- 
ble odor, was afterwards made to pass through a solution 
of chloride of lime ; carbonate of lime was formed, and the 
air came out without smell, and completely purified by the 

" The same operation was again commenced, by making 
the air pass through a solution of caustic potassa, before 
sending it through the chloride ; the air came out with a very 
fetid odor. 

" Air was left for twenty-four hours in contact with some 
of the blood used in the preceding experiment. A portion 
having been put in contact with some chloride, the disinfec- 
tion was complete in a few moments, and carbonate of lime 
was formed. The other part of the air was treated by caus- 
tic potash, and afterwards by chlorine ; but it retained an in- 
supportable odor."* 

From these decisive experiments, it appears, that the car- 
bonic acid given out by the putrid substance effects the evo- 
lution of chlorine ; which last combines with the constituents 
of the miasmata, and neutralizes them in some hitherto un- 
known manner.! 

An attentive examination of the manner in which carbonic 
acid causes the evolution of chlorine will perhaps throw ad- 
ditional light upon the chemical history of these disinfecting 

It has just been stated that a solution of the supposed chlo- 
ride of lime, when abandoned to the air, loses its chlorine, 
and there is produced a precipitate of carbonate of lime. 
This process, however, requires nearly two months exposure. 
But the same thing also takes place when we expose two 
separate vessels to the air, in one of which is lime water, and 
in the other a simple solution of chlorine. At the end of 
several days, the chlorine of the latter will be completely 
disengaged, and the lime of the former is converted into a 

* Ann. de Chimie, Vol. 33. 

t It is difficult to reconcile with this view of the subject, the fact stated by- 
Mr. Faraday, in the volume of Brande's Journal to which I have referred, viz : 
That when carbonic acid was passed through Labarraque's liquor of soda, equal 
to nearly 1300 times the volume of the fluid, very little chlorine was removed, 
and the bleaching powers of the fluid were but little diminished, though it no 
longer appeared alkaline to turmeric paper ; — unless we adopt the opinion sug- 
gested at the close of this essay. 

264 Notice of a peculiarity in Vision. 

carbonate. Again a stream of carbonic acid passed through 
a solution of the chloride, effects a decomposition in a few 
hours, or at least, to so great an extent, that it no longer acts 
on vegetable colors or putrid substances — and at the same 
time carbonate of lime is formed. Now the conversion of 
lime into carbonate, by the contact of carbonic acid is not 
remarkable, and the evolution of chlorine is not to be re- 
garded as an evidence of the decomposition of a compound 
of chlorine and lime or soda. 

For the purpose of settling the latter assertion by experi- 
ment, I charged some rain water with chlorine until it bleach- 
ed powerfully. On passing through it a stream of carbonic 
acid, or simply blowing into it through a glass tube for half 
an hour, the chlorine was so far discharged as to leave the 
solution without action upon indigo or turmeric. This re- 
sult, I ascribe to the mechanical effect which the passage of 
a gaseous substance has, in bringing successive portions of 
the solution into contact with the air, and thus facilitating 
the evolution of chlorine. 

Now when carbonic acid is passed through a solution of 
the supposed chloride of lime, it combines with the lime and 
is precipitated in the form of carbonate. There remains 
then, a simple solution of chlorine in water from which chlo- 
rine is disengaged by the carbonic acid as before stated. But 
when this gas is transmitted through a solution of soda, car- 
bonate of soda is formed which is soluble, and the chlorine is 
then more difficultly disengaged for the reasons which have 
been suggested, when noticing the difference in the effect of 
ebullition upon simple solutions of chlorine in water, and 
upon various saline solutions charged with chlorine. .In this 
way we can also account for the inefficiency of carbonic acid 
in removing the chlorine from Labarraque's liquid, as stated 
by Mr. Faraday. Further experiments seem still necessary 
to decide whether the disengagement of chlorine from lime, 
soda and carbonate of soda in solution, during the process of 
disinfection, is produced in each, in the same manner. 

Art. V. — Notice of a peculiarity in Vision; by Chauncey 
E. Goodrich. 

From my early years I have been sensible of a want of 
precision of eye sight. My eyes too, for the first eighteen 
years of my life, were occasionally weak and sore ; but ha- 
bitual study has strengthened them so that now they seldom 

Notice of a "peculiarity in Vision. 265 

fail. In my course of study in natural philosophy at col- 
lege, I was particularly attentive to optics, yet I discov- 
ered no clue to the difficulties under which my vision 
labored. Having clearly ascertained that I was in some 
sense short sighted, I hoped to find a remedy in the use of 
common concave spectacles, but after repeated examina- 
tions of various assortments of glasses, I became much dis- 
couraged. Two years since, however, while in the city of 
New York, I purchased a pair of concave glasses, of No. 5, 
not because they suited me, but because I wished to try 
their influence on my sight. My first attempt at using them 
was in viewing some shipping in the harbor, when I was 
greatly surprised to find that all the horizontal portions of 
their rigging were seen with much greater, and the vertical 
portions with much less precision than when viewed with the 
naked eye. This new and curious fact suggested the pro- 
priety of pretty extended experiments on my sight, both with 
and without glasses. And first, with the naked eye — I then 
found that way vertical line as 1 — 2, (see the diagram below,) 
was seen with much much greater precision than any hori- 

1 zontal one 3 — 4, and that to see 3 — 4 with the same 
precision with which I had seen 1 — 2, it was neces- 

j sary to turn my head aside a full right angle,* and 

2 that too, at the expense of losing the clear view of 
1 — 2, and I also found that in viewing the circumference of 

any circle, as C j the portions that approach nearest to a 

vertical line, as 1 — 3 and 2 — 4, were seen with more precis- 
ion and at a greater distance than the portions 1—2 and 
3 — 4 which approach nearest to a horizontal line. 

In strict accordance with the principles thus far developed, 
I found, that squares were seen in the form of parallello- 
grams, circles in the form of ellipses, and spheres in the form 
of spheroids. I found too, that in viewing the human coun- 
tenance, the eyes, mouth and chin, were seen less distinctly 
than the nose. 

In the next place I tried the same experiments in the use of 
my glasses, and found an exact and reciprocal change of each 
of the above mentioned laws of my vision, that is, horizontal 

* With the head turned aside at an angle of 45°, the lines 1 — 2 and 3 — 4 
were seen with equal plainness, and in a degree intermediate between the up- 
light view of the two lines. 

Vol. XIV.— No. 2. 8 

266- Notice of a, peculiarity in Vision. 

lines and objects were now seen with about the same degree 
of definiteness with which vertical ones had been before, 
whilst vertical objects were seen with the same indistinctness 
with which horizontal ones had been before ; circles were 
still, of course, seen as ellipses, but the transverse axis, in- 
stead of being perpendicular to the horizon as before, now 
became horizontal. The eyes and mouth of the distant 
speaker now became much more interesting objects of sight 
than before. 

Let it be distinctly understood, that my sight has never 
been so short, or I might say rather so indistinct, as that of 
many persons. It is also worthy of remark, that whilst in 
common cases of short sightedness, the individual can see 
very well, provided the object be placed at his proper seeing 
distance, / had no seeing distance, but was perpetually mis- 
taking objects at all distances within the compass of my vis- 
ion ; that both eyes are affected with the same difficulty, yet 
that the right one is both stronger and more discriminating 
than the left ; and that neither the vertical object, seen with 
the naked eye, nor the horizontal one, seen through the 
glasses, are seen at more than about half the distance that 
they are by many good eyes. 

Now on the supposition that, in the economy of vision, 
the refraction of light is achieved principally by the crys- 
talline lens of the eye, I think the following conclusions 
plainly deducible. 

1. That the crystalline lens of my eye, instead of being 
formed of sections of a sphere, is really formed of sections 
of a spheroid. 

2. That the transverse axis of this spheroid runs in a hori- 
zontal direction. 

3. That the horizontal curvature of this lens is just of that 
degree adapted to produce tolerably correct vision, whilst 
the vertical curvature is too small, that is, a portion of too 
small a circle to produce the same effect. 

Things being so, I am readily able to account for the two 
opposite effects of my concave spectacles. 1st, the interpo- 
sition of a diffusing glass, (such as they are,) by diminishing 
the refraction, indisposes the rays of light coming in a hori- 
zontal plane, for correct vision. 2d, the interposition of the 
same glass exactly disposes the rays coming in a vertical 
plane to produce correct vision, because the vertical curvity 
is so small as to refract these rays in too great a degree. 

In reasoning from facts, thus far, I find no difficulty. The 

Notice of a peculiarity in Vision. 267 

next object is to interpose a glass of such a construction as 
shall refract the rays in the vertical plain alone, that is, coun- 
teract the too great vertical convexity of the lens of my eye. 
To accomplish this, accurately, is no small difficulty. Let 3, 
1, 4, 2, be the crystalline lens, of which the straight line 
1 — 2 is a vertical section, and the curve 1 — 2 the vertical 
curve, and let the straight line 3 — 4 be a horizontal section, 
and the curve line 3 — 4 be the horizontal curve. Now the 
points where the greatest refraction is needed are 1 and 2, 
whence the refractive energy ought to decrease gradually un- 
til it should actually disappear at the points 3 and 4, where 
nature refracts correctly. (I, of course, speak here rather of 
a diminution than an increase of refraction at the points 1 
and 2.) To accomplish this, I conceive that I need a diffu- 
sing glass composed of sections of a spheroid, whose trans- 
verse axis is many times greater than its conjugate, but I 
know not that such a glass could be ground very readily. I 
have therefore been contented to procure piano cylindrically 
concave glasses, whose single curve is about equal to No. 5 of 

l common spectacles. These 

spectacles I caused to be 
made in Philadelphia a few 
months since. 

The assistance which they 
render my eyes is consider- 
able, enabling me to read 
(Greek more especially than 
English on account of its 
more numerous horizontal strokes,) at a distance of three or 
four inches beyond the power of the naked eye. 

Their power on my eye, in viewing objects near at hand, 
is a little too great, as they shorten the vertical dimensions 
of objects a little beyond their true proportion. Rectangu- 
lar objects near at hand, unless one of their linear dimen- 
sions correspond with the greatest linear dimensions of my 
own body, that is, ordinarily with a vertical plane, are liable 
to be slightly disturbed. These difficulties would doubtless 
be, in a great degree, remedied, could I procure the spheroi- 
dal glasses mentioned above. 

Note. — If such glasses as are mentioned above, can pos- 
sibly be ground, I should be happy to be informed where, and 
by whom. C. E. G. 

Princeton Theol. Seminary, Feb. 29, 1828. 

268 Observations on Surveying Instruments. 

Art. VI. — Observations on Surveying Instruments, and the 
means of remedying their imperfections ; by Lucius Lyon, 
Surveyor and Civil Engineer — {with a print.) 

Detroit, Michigan Territory, Jan. 26th, 1828. 

Magnetism is the well known name of a mysterious pow- 
er, manifested only by its effects, and of whose ultimate 
cause we are ignorant. 

Among its effects, none is more important, than that which 
results from the application of one of its familiar properties, 
to the art of surveying. 

By no other means at present known, can lines be run, 
new lands be laid off, estates subdivided, their boundaries de- 
fined, and the local position of places ascertained, with so 
much facility as by the magnetic needle. To perform the 
same services, in any other way, with any tolerable degree of 
accuracy, would be an interminable labor. 

But, although the magnetic needle affords great facilities 
for the practice of surveying, and in most cases is the only 
means which it is practicable to employ ; it ought not to be 
relied on as entirely correct. 

It is subject to many irregularities, to which our present 
limited knowledge of the laws which govern magnetism does 
not enable us to apply corrections. Although more than 
three hundred years have elapsed, since Columbus, with 
astonishment, discovered the variation of the magnet from 
the poles of the earth ; little or nothing has yet been done 
toward finding out its cause, or satisfactorily explaining the 
reasons for the different variation at different places, or the 
change of variation, at the same place. 

Great improvement has, however, been made, in the ap- 
plication of the magnet to practical purposes, in the manu- 
facture of magnetic needles, and in fitting them to the instru- 
ments with which they are used ; as well as in perfecting the 
form, and increasing the accuracy and convenience, of those 
instruments. In this respect we seem to have improved more 
than other nations, in proportion to the unsettled state of the 
boundaries of extensive tracts of our lands, the newness of 
much of our country, and the consequent necessity for using 
surveying instruments. Of the truth of this remark, any per- 
son who is a competent judge, and who will take the trouble 
to compare American with English compasses,, will be 

Observations on Surveying Instruments. 260 

convinced. For although the latter generally show a high 
finish, and nice graduations ; I have never seen one that had 
a convenient disposition of its parts. And they often pre- 
sent the inconsistency, of a nonius, by which the divisions 
may be read oft' to every minute, while the needle is so clum- 
sy that the course cannot be determined, nearer than to half 
a degree. 

The inaccuracy of surveys has, (as Mr. Gummere very 
justly observes,) been a more fruitful source of litigation in 
the United States, than all other causes put together. Hence 
arises the necessity that every person who practices survey- 
ing should be provided with good instruments, that error may 
be avoided as much as possible, and without such instru- 
ments it is in vain to expect any tolerable degree of accura- 
cy. Hence also, our government, which has already survey- 
ed about one hundred and forty millions of acres, and has 
more than one hundred and thirty millions yet to survey, with 
a view of the importance of the subject, and with a design to 
promote accuracy, directs, that no compasses be used in its 
surveys, but such as have Rittenhouse's improvements. 

In the course of surveying more than three thousand miles, 
for the United States, and in using compasses manufactured 
by several of our best artists, although excellent of their kind, 
I have frequently experienced considerable inconvenience in 
passing over hilly ground, from not being able to elevate or 
depress, as the case might require, the forward end of the in- 
strument. The theodolite is represented by writers on the 
subject, to be the perfection of instruments for this kind of 
business, but however well it may be adapted to surveying 
in an open country ; it is altogether too unwieldy for use in 
the woods. Considering that an instrument combining the 
advantages of the theodolite in a portable form, would be a 
desideratum, I had what I conceived to be such a one made, 
to order, by Mr. Benj. Piatt, a very ingenious artist of Colum- 
bus, Ohio — far a representation of which, see Fig. 1.* 

Explanation of the Figure, and description of the instru- 

Fig. 1 represents a view of the " improved elevating com- 
pass," from a point somewhat lower than the compass box, 

* Mr. Piatt has for some time made compasses on a similar construction, and 
their superiority is bringing them into general use in the western country. He 
calls it the patent elevating compass. 

270 Observations on Surveying Instruments. 

as standing upright on its staff, with its forward end, or end 
farthest from the observer, elevated at an angle of about for- 
ty-five degrees. 

A, a hollow plate, covering the whole bottom of the com- 
pass box, and about four tenths of an inch in thickness on the 
outer edge, a part of which plate projects and forms axles at 
D and d. 

B and C, two bars about four tenths of an inch thick, encir- 
cling the compass box and attached by screws to the joints 
D, d, and turning on the aforesaid axles. 

E, a plate, the upper part of which forms the card, or face 
of the compass, to which is attached the graduated ring. This 
plate, provided with a nonius represented at O, and with two 
spirit levels in the face of the compass, is turned at pleasure 
by the trundle P, and made fast by the screw T. The noniua 
should always be made to turn off, at least fifteen degrees, 
Compasses are usually faulty in this respect, 

G, a semicircle, graduated to degrees, and attached to a, 
projection of the circular bars. 

H, an index with a nonius, by which the divisions on the 
semicircle may be read off for every five minutes, attached 
by a screw, to the end of the axle at D, and made fast to 
the semicircular arch, when necessary, by the thumb screw 
at e. 

K, a trigonometer attached by screws to the circular bar, but 
which may be conveniently carried in the pocket. It has an 
index or hand with a fiducial edge, so divided as to correspond 
with the size of the divisions on the plate. One end of this 
index turns around a centre at g, and the other comes over 
the edge of the plate, (which forms an arc of a circle, and is 
graduated up to 45°, thence backward to 90°,) the index be- 
ing the hypothenuse, and the divisions on the plate, the legs, 
of a right angled triangle. 

L, ball and stem. Around the stem of the ball is a small 
circular plate in contact with the screws a, 6, c, whieh pass 
through the top of the socket, and by which the compass may 
be nicely adjusted to a level, when great accuracy is re- 

M, a screw to regulate the ball, and N, another to fasten 
the socket to the staff. 

P, screw, which by means of a spiral spring, raises the 
needle off the centre-pin. 

Observations on Surveying Instruments. 271 

S, a screw acting against the spring, i, by which the com- 
pass may be made fast to the stem of the ball. This part of 
the compass which fits on to the stem, runs up through the 
plates, and has attached to it in the face of the compass, an 
index with a nonius, (see fig. 2.) If the screw at R, which 
fastens the compass to the part just described, be loosed, and 
the screw S made tight ; the compass may be turned around 
at pleasure, while the index remains stationary — and thus 
any contained angle may be measured, without reference to 
the needle, with great facility. 

T and V, are sight-vanes, with eye-holes and cross-hairs for 
levelling. They need be but short, as they can be elevated 
or depressed to the direction of the object at pleasure. 

Fig. 2 shows an oblique view of the face of the compass, 
with the needle, index, and levels, and also shows the manner 
in which the parts of the joints are put together. 

This instrument, after a fair trial in surveying upwards of 
five hundred miles, has fully answered my expectations. By 
the addition of a telescope, which may easily be made to the 
sight-vanes, it will unite all the excellencies of the theodolite, 
and have the advantage, that it may be divested of its appen- 
dages for measuring vertical angles, and rendered as porta- 
ble as a common circumferentor. The trigonometer which 
is attached to it, may be carried in the pocket, and if well 
made, will entirely supersede the necessity of carrying a tra- 
verse-table ; as on it, the latitude and departure for any 
course, and any ordinary distance may be seen at a glance. 
The surveyor will find it a very convenient and expeditious 
method of measuring the distance across streams, &c. — par- 
ticularly if the weather be wet and he cannot use tables. 

The experience that I have had with needles of different 
forms, seems to confirm the truth of Professor Eaton's re- 
mark, (Am. Jour, of Science, vol. XII, page 16,) namely, 
that " the flat kinds are the best, which are wide in the mid- 
dle, and of a true taper to the points. 1 ' I have been so well 
convinced of this, that for several years I have used no other. 
They should be nicely pointed, the south part blued by a 
gentle heat, and the north part well polished. No letters, as 
is usually seen in the face of compasses, to denote the cardin- 
al points, ought ever to be placed on the card. They an- 
swer a good purpose on the mariner's compass, where the 
.position of the card is always the same with respect to the 
cardinal points ; but on the surveyors compass, they will be* 

272 Observations on Surveying Instruments, 

very likely to mislead those who pay any attention to them, 
A simple fleur de lis on the north part of the needle, is all that 
is necessary. 

With a view to the improvement of instruments, and to 
obviate, if possible, some of the difficulties and embarrass- 
ments which the practising surveyor has to encounter, I will 
venture to add to the observations already made, a few 

Remarks on the errors of the Compass. 

Those in the use of ordinary instruments, will be many, 
such as may arise from imperfect graduations, &c. ; but I 
shall mention only a few of those which are common to all, 
or at least the greater part. 

Most of the compasses that I have seen, have steel centre- 
pins passing through the card, and extending from an inch, 
to an inch and a half below, and frequently of the size of a 
common crow's quill. 

Should this pin by any means get magnetized, and acquire 
polarity, as it will be very likely to do, by standing in a verti- 
cal position ; it is obvious, that in many cases, it might exert 
a sensible influence upon the needle. The larger part of the 
centre-pin which passes through the plate, should be of brass 
or copper, and into this the small steel pivot, on which the 
needle librates, should be firmly screwed. 

Much uncertainty and difficulty in the practice of survey- 
ing, particularly in tracing old lines, arises from the constant 
changing of the declination of the needle. 

This difficulty might be obviated in relation to future sur- 
veys, by carefully observing, once or twice every year, the ex- 
act variation of the magnetic, from the true meridian ; and 
by establishing a true meridian line for the adjustment of 
different instruments.* 

Such observations being made and registers of them kept, 
at as many places as might be necessary, we should thence, 
knowing the dates of the different surveys thereafter made, 
have the means of determining the precise bearing of a given 
line at any time when it might be convenient, whether the 
survey had been made by the magnetic, or by the true meri- 
dian. Such observations besides a practical, would have a 

* Mr. Gummere, author of an excellent treatise on the theory of surveying, I 
think proposes something similar. See his discourse on land surveying. 

Observations on Surveying Instruments. 273 

scientific value, and nfay be made at any place in a variety 
of ways, with far less trouble than their importance might 

In October, 1822, in company with I. Mullett, Esq., survey- 
or general of Michigan, I made several observations, to de- 
termine the precise variation of the needle at Detroit, and 
the mean of the different observations was 3° 1 3' 22" declin- 
ation eastwardly. I have, during the present month, repeated 
the observations in company with the same gentleman, and 
find 2° 50' variation eastwardly ; thus showing a traverse of 
the magnetic meridian to the westward of 23' 22" in little 
more than five years, or about 4' T 4 „ per year. On the Island 
of Michilimackinac in July last, I found the variation east- 
wardly to be 2° 59'. In the winter of 1825-6, on the Grand 
River of Lake Michigan, in the western part of the peninsula, 
I observed the variation every clear night, for several months, 
and every night in a different place, extending over a tract 
of country about seventy miles long by twenty-four broad. 
The results were various, from 3° 45' E., to 6° E,, varying 
sometimes 50' in a distance of six miles ; and that without 
any apparent cause, as the country is entirely alluvial, and 
scarely a trace of iron can be found. The declination, how- 
ever, generally appeared to increase in going westwardly. 

Practising surveyors, in all parts of the United States, 
whether amongst the primitive mountains, or on the alluvial 
plains, often complain of the errors and perplexities arising 
from the aberrations of the needle, and suppose the cause, 
which they call local attraction, to exist in the earth. 

In hilly countries, where ores abound, it is reasonable to 
suppose that they may exert an influence upon the needle, 
and sometimes cause it to vary from its general direction, 
but on extensive alluvial plains, where there is no trace of ores 
of any kind, its aberrations are, on this supposition, inexplica- 
ble ; and I am well convinced that in most cases they de- 
pend entirely on another cause, which I do not recollect to 
have seen mentioned by any writer on the subject, namely, 
the developement of electricity or magnetism, or both, in 
some part of the glass of the compass, by its friction against 
the clothes of the person carrying the instrument. 

* Mr. Mullett keeps a register of the daily variation at Detroit. 

Vol. XIV.— No. 2. 9 

274 Observations on Surveying Instruments. 

The common method of carrying the compass for conven- 
ience and for the protection of the glass, particularly in the 
woods, is to throw it over the left arm, with its face towards 
the body, holding one sight-vane in the hand, while the other 
lies across the arm above the elbow. 

In this position, one part of the glass will frequently come 
in contact with the covering of the body ; and I have found 
by abundant experience, that it is the part thus excited, which, 
in a dry atmosphere, very often produces the aberrations of 
the needle so much complained of, the cause of which has 
generally been considered so inexplicable, 

I believe, that in nine cases out of ten, where local attrac- 
tion is suspected, the surveyor need not look beyond his in- 
strument for the cause. 

Sometimes from this cause, when the compass is set, and 
the needle let down on to the centre-pin, it will swing hastily 
around to a certain position, where it will suddenly stop, and 
remain for several minutes, until the excitement appears to 
have in some measure abated, when it will leisurely move off 
and apparently assume its proper position. At other times, 
when the surrounding atmosphere is drier, and circumstan- 
ces seem more favorable to the developement of the disturb- 
ing cause, the needle when lowered on to the pivot, will fly 
immediately to some point in the glass, and attach itself so 
closely by one of its ends, that it is with difficulty, that it can 
be immediately removed. 

Note. — With a view to ascertain whether the attracting cause is developed 
by friction in all compass glasses alike, I lately made several experiments in 
company with Mr. Mullett ; the result of which was, that out of the four differ- 
ent compasses which we examined, three, by rubbing a few seconds on any 
part of the glass with silk or woollen cloth, would attract the needle from twen- 
ty to eighty degrees, and hold it in contact with the glass from five to fifteen 
minutes. The other glass, by rubbing, showed no signs of attraction, either for 
the needle or electrometer — neither would an excited stick of sealing wax, nor 
a disk of polished glass, when excited, affect the needle through it ; although 
they would, through the other glasses at a greater distance. The glass was 
then placed over the other needles with the same result. Hence we inferred 
that this glass had no affinity for the electric or electro-magnetic fluid, and that 
it was impervious to it. 

Neither of us having ever before used a compass glass that could not be ex- 
cited, this singular exception of the fourth glass induced us to try another ex- 
periment, to see if a steel magnet of the same attractive power as the sealing 
wax, in relation to the other needles, when held at a certain distance, would at- 
tract the needle through this glass. The result proved that it would vary sensi- 
bly. Hence then, if the cause of the attraction of the needle, developed in the 
glass and sealing wax, be magnetism, there must be two kinds ; one that can 
•communicate its influence through this glass, and another that cannot. 

Observations on Surveying Instruments. 275 

On one occasion, the needle of my compass was so strong- 
ly attracted to the glass, that it was with the greatest difficul- 
ty that I could shake it off, and when I had succeeded in de- 
taching it, it would immediately return and adhere as firmly 
as before. 

In this dilemma, I washed the glass on both sides, in a 
neighboring brook, which seemed to lessen the attraction 
considerably, but so strong was the excitement about the in- 
strument, that near half an hour elapsed before I felt any con- 
fidence in its accuracy. 

To obviate the errors arising from this source, by prevent- 
ing the friction of the glass, Mr. Mullett proposes to cover 
the face of the compass with two semicircular brass plates, 
to turn on hinges, and so contrived that by means of a spring, 
they can be made to fly open when required.* 

I will only add, that the surveyor's compass, or any other 
instrument, depending on the needle, requires to be used 
with great circumspection. 

In order to ascertain, whether the attraction of the needle in the aforemen- 
tioned cases, was caused by the electricity excited, or by magnetism, which 
from the strong attraction of the needle, I suspected might be a concomitant, I 
subsequently made a variety of experiments with different substances, by a very 
delicate electrometer, and a small needle nicely balanced. A stick of sealing 
wax or a disk of polished glass, when excited, attracted and covered themselves 
with iron filings, and also attracted the needle and electrometer ; but on being 
dipped in water, they suddenly lost all their attractive power, and did not affect 
the needle. The disk of glass, however, when excited, did not seem to have 
its attractive power materially lessened by holding it between two brass plates 
for several minutes, and would attract either the electrometer or the needle ; but 
the needle seemed the most sensitive, and would be attracted by a small excite- 
ment of the glass, when the eleetrometer, which was a small down feather, 
would not be moved. The stick of sealing wax, or the glass when excited and 
placed on a tea cup in a pan of water, could be drawn by a magnet from one side 
of the pan to the other, to and fro, at pleasure. The same could also be done by 
a piece of iron, a brass scale, or boxwood rule, or any thing else with equal fa? 
cility. Hence it appears the attraction of the needle by the glass was not ow- 
ing to any particular affinity of the electricity of the glass for the magnetism of 
the needle, but that the electricity attracted it by the same virtue, and with the 
same force that it does all other bodies. 

* This would answer, provided the glass is the only part of the instrument in 
which the magnetic or electric influence can, in this way be developed, but I 
have observed at times, that the whole of one part of the compass appeared to 
be temporarily magnetized, and this is the only way that 1 could account for the 
hasty swing and sudden stop of the needle before mentioned, when it was ap- 
parently, not at all influenced by the glass. I have also observed in some in- 
stances, when the needle appeared to have been disturbed in settling, that put- 
ting the hand toward it, would attract it several degrees. I have never observ- 
ed this curious phenomenon, except when I had been walking, and suppose it 
may be attributed to the electricity thus excited. Mr. Mullett and others, have 
observed the same thing in similar circumstances. 

276 Dr. Hildreth on fresh water Sheila, 

Art. VII. — Observations on, and descriptions of the Shells^ 
found in the waters of the Muskingum River, Little 
Muskingum and Duck Creek, in the vicinity of Marietta. 
Ohio ; by S. P. Hildreth,* M. D. 

Although the river Ohio abounds in shells of the same 
genera as those about to be described, yet they have so genr 
erally been noticed by writers on natural history, while those 
living in the above streams and more immediately within the 
bounds of the State, have not received attention ; that my 
observations have been confined to those streams almost ex- 

From the variety of form, color, and outward appearance 
of bivales, the most careless observer could not but be struck 
with their beauty, and led to admire their rich pearly luster, 
and variegated surface. But the more carefully they are in- 
spected, the more beauties he will find to attract his atten- 
tion and to call forth his wonder. The beds of many of our 
streams are strewed with the open valves of the numerous 
family of the Unios ; and where the waters are transparent, 
like those of the Muskingum, they, with the interspersed peb- 
bles, afford all the rich variety and tessellated appearance 
of a Roman pavement. — Their beauties were not unknown, 
or neglected by that ancient race of men who once inhabi- 
ted the pleasant vales of Ohio ; as the valves of some of the 
most interesting kinds are often found buried in mounds, in- 
termixed with other articles considered as valuable by the 
builders of those venerable monuments of the dead. They 
must also have been deemed very valuable as an article of 
food ; as we find vast beds of the calcined shells, in the 
banks of the river, usually several feet below the present 
surface, and near them a hearth of stones with ashes and 
fragments of deer and fish bones promiscuously interspersed. 
—-In those seasons of the year, when the waters were low, 
and game scarce, they no doubt constituted a large portion 
of their food. Some of the species are very fine eating, 

* Dr. Hildreth, having with great propriety, made Mr. Barnes his authority 
for his descriptions, it was thought proper to communicate this memoir to that 
gentleman, in MS. — along with the drawings, and such of the latter have been 
engraved as were not among those contained in volumes 6 and 7 of this Jour- 
nal, to which the reader is referred, for the figures now omitted. We have ta- 
ken the liberty to add, in the form of notes, a few of the remarks of Mr. Barnes, 
communicated by our request. — Editor. 

Dr. Hildreth on fresh water Shells. 277 

and much admired by the lovers of shell fish at the present 
day, particularly the Unio ellipticus, and Alasmodonta com- 
planata, which are very large, and in the month of Septem- 
ber abound in fat, to the extent of one or two ounces of clear 
oil in a single individual. In the early settlement of this vi- 
cinity, shells were much used for the manufacture of lime, 
being burnt in piles of alternate strata of logs and shells ; 
and affording an article of the greatest purity and whiteness. 
They were in such abundance that a single individual could 
collect twenty five or thirty bushels in a day — But at present, 
I think they are less numerous, being destroyed in the low 
stages of water by hogs, which become very fond of them and 
will spend whole days in the water searching for their favor- 
ite food ; many times preferring them to corn, which they 
have been known to leave, and go in search of the more lus- 
cious clam. They have also other harrasing enemies in the 
Muskrats ; which collect vast heaps of shells at the mouths of 
their favorite retreats, in the vicinity of some sunken log, on 
which they sit and feast upon the choicest of the molluscous 
race. It is also said that the white perch make use of the 
more thin shelled varieties, for food ; being provided with 
strong bony plates, thickly studded with smooth round teeth, 
and placed in the back part of the fauces, well calculated to 
perform the office of " nut crackers." The favorite haunts 
of most of the genera are about the heads and sides of sand 
bars and islands, where they can nestle in the sand and 
coarse gravel ; other kinds prefer the rocky ripples, where 
they can lie under the projecting edges of the loose stones ; 
in the latter situations, are found most of the crested or win- 
ged varieties, which probably accounts for the fact, that very- 
few of the older subjects are found with crest perfect, but 
generally mutilated and broken. As to their manner of 
propagating the species, I have been able to learn but little 
from my own observations, or by enquiries amongst fisher- 
men, or others much about our rivers ; and except in one or 
two varieties, have derived but little aid from writers on Con- 
chology. From the fact, that the young from the size of a 
pin head, to that of a pea, are found in great numbers in 
the sand and soft ooze at the bottom of our streams, where 
the water is still and calm, I am led to believe, that they are 
male and female, and propagated by a seminal fluid, in the 
manner of the finny tribe. But this is only a conjecture, 
which further observations may confirm or refute. 

278 Dr. Hildreth on fresh water Shells. 

I have as yet noticed but one variety of Univalve, in our 
streams ; neither have I been able to collect all the species 
of the bivalve, as I have heard of several, which are not in 
my collection. — The description of most of my shells is taken 
from the observations of Mr. Barnes, published in the 6th 
vol. of the Journal of Science ; a gentleman who deserves 
much credit for his devotedness to American natural history. 

Remarks. — My collection is generally made up of living 
subjects ; and the color, &c. for the drawings, selected from 
several individuals of the same species. — The drawings were 
executed by Mr. Sala Bosworth, a young self taught artist 
of Marietta. 

Genus Unio. 

Generic character, from M. Lamarck. 

" Shell transverse, equivalve, inequilateral, free, beaks de- 
corticated, somewhat carious ; posterior muscular impression 
compound ; hinge with two teeth in each valve ; the cardin- 
al one short, irregular simple, or divided into two, substriated ; 
the other elongated, compressed, lateral, extending beneath 
the corslet. Ligament exterior." 

Remarks. — Not expecting by these observations to throw 
much light on the study of Conchology, but only to des- 
cribe the shells in this vicinity, I shall not divide the genus 
into classes, or parts, but go on as they are numbered in the 
drawings — the measure is by inches and decimals. 

, T , TT r, -p ■ * ) A. outside of the 

No. I. Unio CEASsus.-Fig. I. J sheUi C . inside . 

Shell very thick, tumid ; cardinal teeth lobed, angulated ; 
posterior cicatrix deep and rough. — Hab. Muskingum. 

Length, 3 inches ; breadth, 4 inches ; diameter 2 do. 

Shell very thick, and oval — rounded behind, slightly an- 
gulated before ; epidermis light brown ; surface waved ; 
beaks projecting ; cardinal teeth deeply sulcated ; anterior- 
cicatrix striated ; cavity of the beaks capacious, but not 
deep ; naker, (or inside of the shell) pearly white and 

Remark. — It is a very common shell, and abounds in va- 

No. 2. Unio Ellipticus. — Fig. 2. 

Shell regularly oval ; thick, convex, glabrous, beaks de- 
pressed ■ teeth elevated, triangular, striated.-^Hab. Musk- 

Dr. Hildreth on fresh water Shells. 279 

Length, 3,5 ; breadth, 5.00; diameter, 2.125. 

Shell long before, short behind, equally rounded at both 
extremities ; beaks slightly projecting ; ligament elevated 
above the beaks ; epidermis dark brown, lighter in young 
specimens, and obscurely rayed — waved on the center of 
the disks, and wrinkled transversely ; teeth deeply divided, 
elevated and striated ; anterior cicatrix wrinkled, posterior 
cicatrix rough behind and smooth before ; cavity of the 
beaks moderate and angulated ; naker pearly and beauti- 
fully iridescent on the forepart. 

Remarks. — I have a great many specimens of this shell, 
from very young to old ; they are remarkably uniform in 
their proportions. Its good qualities for eating, are said to 
be equal to those of any other shell in these streams. 

No. 3. Unio Cuneatus. — Fig. 3. 

Shell ovate, wedge shaped, thick, gibbous ; disks swelled ; 
a side view of the shell bearing a strong likeness to the head 
of the bald eagle ; lateral teeth thick ; inside a rich rose 
color. — Hab. Muskingum. 

Length, 3.00 ; breadth, 4.4 ; diameter, 2.00. 

Shell elongated and subtiiangular, thick and ponderous ; 
anterior side narrowed, thin, angulated, wedge shaped, com- 
pressed ; umboes large and elevated, beaks low and dis- 
tant, much decorticated; anterior lunule, long heart shaped, 
with an elevated ridge running from the beaks to the ante- 
rior basal margin, and projecting on that part — basal mar- 
gin slightly rounded and arcuated before ; anterior margin 
narrow and angulated ; posterior margin rounded and broad ; 
epidermis blackish brown ; surface wrinkled transversely. 
Cardinal teeth deeply divided and sulcated ; lateral teeth 
long, thick and striated ; cicatrices deep ; cavity of the 
beaks small and rounded ; naker a rich rose color and irid- 

No. 4. Unio Undulatus. — Fig. 4. 

Shell rhombic ovate, with numerous waving folds radia- 
ting from the beaks. 

Length, 4.00; breadth, 5.25; diameter, 2.00. — Hab. Duck 

Shell thick, obtusely rounded, behind, emarginate before ; 
beaks slightly elevated ; hinge margin sub-alated, compres- 
sed, carinated with a furrow on each side ; anterior dorsal 
margin sub-truncate ; epidermis blackish brown and finely 

280 Dr. Hildreth on fresh water Shells. 

wrinkled transversely ; oblique folds, deeply indenting the 
anterior margin, furrows largest and deepest on the center 
of the disks and extending to the anterior basal margin, de- 
cussating the oblique waves ; large oblong tubers below the 
beaks ; cardinal teeth sulcated and crenated ; posterior ci- 
catrix very rough and shallow ; naker pearly, irregularly 
spotted with olive, and most beautifully iridescent from the 
termination of the ligament to the anterior basal margin, af- 
fording the richest display of colors, in which violet and 
purple predominate, of any shell in my collection. 

No. 5. Unio Plicatus. — Fig. 5. 

Shell sub-quadrangular, tumid with distant oblique folds ; 
hinge margin elevated, compressed, carinated. — Hab. Musk- 

Length, 2.8 ; breadth, 2.9 ; diameter, 17. 

Shell thick, posterior side short, obtusely rounded ; ante- 
rior side compressed wedge shaped ; beaks very prominent 
and projecting backwards as far as the posterior side ; lig- 
ament elevated and passing between the beaks ; hinge mar- 
gin higher than the beaks ; epidermis greenish ; surface 
glabrous, deeply folded, indenting the anterior basal edge ; 
cardinal teeth, sulcate, crenate ; lateral in the left valve, cur- 
ved, and extending up back of the cardinal tooth ; poste- 
rior cicatrix rough and deep ; cavity of the beaks deep and 
extended backwards ; naker white, iridescent on the fore 
part, and tinged with gold color on the corslet and anterior 

Remarks. — This shell does not correspond, in all partic- 
ulars, with Mr. Barnes's Plicatus, but still I think it the same. 
It will stand erect very firmly when placed on the posterior 

No. 6 & 7. Unio Undatus. — Figs. 6 and 7, two varieties. 

Shell sub-orbicular, very tumid ; waved ; lateral teeth, two 
in each valve. White variety, length, 2.25 ; breadth, 2.5 ; 
diameter, 1.5— Hab. ]\tuskingum. 

Shell thick, disjks swelled behind, depressed before ; beaks 
projecting backwards nearly as far as the posterior side, 
elevated and recurved, with the ligament passing between 
them ; anterior lunule long heart shaped ; disks waved trans- 

* Mr. Barnesj we are informed, considers it »s a variety of the following.— Ed. 

Dr. Hildreth on fresh water Shells. 281 

Tersely from the beaks to the base; basal margin rounded 
behind, compressed in the middle, angulated slightly before ; 
epidermis horn color or light chesnut ; surface finely wrin- 
kled and glabrous ; cardinal teeth deeply sulcated and ere- 
nated ; lateral teeth, two in each valve ; muscular impres- 
sions deep and posterior one rough ; naker pearly white and 
iridescent. Variety B. is smaller than the other, and of a 
rich pink, or deep flesh color on the inside ; both varieties 
will stand erect, on the posterior side, and are neat, hand- 
some shells. 

No. 8. Unio Verrucoscus Purpureus. — Fig. 8. 

Shell nearly circular, sub-truncate before, irregularly tu- 
berculated ; tubercles transversely compressed ; inside purple. 

Length, 3.5; breadth, 3.6; diameter, 1.9 ; (larger than 
the figure.) — Hab. Muskingum. 

Shell very thick ; rounded behind, sub-truncate before ; 
beaks elevated, ligament deeply inserted ; hinge margin near- 
ly strait, compressed, alated ; basal margin rounded ; epider- 
mis light brown, surface of the anterior part studded with 
transversely compressed tubercles ; cardinal teeth very deep- 
ly sulcated, broadband crenated cavity of the beaks very 
deep, compressed and directed backwards ; posterior mus,- 
cular impression very rough, anterior one compound ; naker 
bluish purple, and iridescent. 

No. 9. Unio Verrucosus Albus. — Fig. 9. 
The exterior of this shell is much like that of No. 8 ; its 
form is sub-triangular, and angulated before ; surface waved 
transversely, tubercles round and standing on the tops of the 
waves ; cardinal teeth much smaller, and posterior cicatrix 
deeper ; naker pearly white, and iridescent on the fore part ; 
it is a most beautiful shell. — Hab. Muskingum. 

No. 10. Unio Nodosus. — Fig. 10. 

Shell sub-quadrangular, emarginate before, knotted, ridg- 
ed, corrugated, lateral tooth terminating abruptly. 

Length, 2.725; breadth, 3.25 ; diameter, 1.7. — Hab. Duck 

Shell thick, short and obtusely rounded behind ; beaks el- 
evated, and approximate ; with the ligament passing be- 
tween them ; anterior lunule compressed, alated ; hinge 
margin strait; anterior dorsal, rounded; anterior margin, 

Vol. XIV.— No. 2. 10 

282 Dr. Hildreth on fresh water Shells, 

projecting; anterior basal, arcuated; basal and posterior 
margins, rounded ; epidermis, greenish brown ; corrugated 
and tuberculated over the center and anterior parts of the 
shell ; tubercles large near the center of the disks, and very 
fine and beautiful on the beaks ; wrinkled across the trans- 
verse striee on the anterior lunule, giving it a feather shaped 
appearance ; a broad, elevated, and nodulous ridge extend- 
ing from the beaks to the anterior margin, and projecting 
in front ; cardinal teeth sulcated and deeply crenated ; late- 
ral teeth, short, thick, rough and terminating abruptly, mus- 
cular impressions nearly smooth, and the sulcus in the cardi- 
nal tooth as deep as the bed of the posterior cicatrix ; cavity, 
deep and angular; naker, a rich pearl color, tinged with 
blue, and iridescent on the fore part ; a very beautiful shell 
in its exterior, and not less admirable on the inside. 

No. 11. Unio Tuberculatus. — Fig. 11. 

Shell, long ovate ; surface, corrugated, waved tubercula- 
ted, ribbed, disks compressed ; base arcuated. 

Length, 3.00 ; breadth, 5.00 ; diameter, 1.5. — Hab. Duck 

Shell, thick and rugged ; anterior side compressed, nar- 
rowed, thin; posterior side, rounded, short, obtuse and broad- 
er than the anterior ; beaks flat, and far back ; ligament high- 
er than the beaks ; hinge margin, nearly strait, elevated, 
compressed ; anterior dorsal, emarginate ; anterior basal, 
emarginate; anterior margin, rounded; epidermis, dark 
brown ; surface, thinly and irregularly tubereulated ; tuber- 
cles, elongated longitudinally ; an elevated ridge extending 
from the beaks and projecting on the anterior basal edge ; 
irregular nodulous undulations, radiating from the elevated 
ridge to the hinge and anterior margins ; cardinal teeth, cre- 
nated ; lateral teeth, long and beautifully formed ; posterior 
cicatrix, deep, and anterior half rough ; cavity, angular, 
compressed and directed backwards ; naker, pearly white, 
with spots of greenish, and most splendidly iridescent with 
purple, violet and gold, on the fore part. 

No. 12. Unio Rugosus. — Fig. 12. 

Shell, broad ovate ; surface, tuberculated, ribbed, waved, 
disks swelled, base falcated. 

Length, 1.6 ; breadth, 1.8 ; diameter, 1.2. ; specimen 
small. — Hab. Muskingum. 

Dr. Hildreth on fresh water Shells. 283 

Shell, narrowed and thin before ; rounded and wider be- 
hind, beaks slightly elevated ; hinge margin, compressed, 
carinate ; basal margin, falcated, emarginate and compres- 
sed ; anterior margin, rounded ; epidermis, dark brown ; 
surface, rough and scaly ; waved transversely, having dis- 
tant, irregular, transversely compressed tubercles ; a broad 
nodulous ridge, extending from the beaks to the anterior 
basal edge, and projecting on that part ; small oblique waves 
radiating from the ridge to the hinge and anterior dorsal 
margins ; cardinal teeth, sulcated ; lateral teeth, striated ; 
posterior cicatrix, deep and not very rough ; cavity of the 
beaks, angular, compressed and directed backwards ; naker,, 
white and moderately iridescent. 

No. 13. — Unio Cvlindricus. Fig. 13. 

Shell, much elongated transversely, sub-cylindrical ; disks, 
flattened, beaks not much elevated ; teeth, sulcated ob- 

Length, 1.5 ; breadth, 3.5 ; diameter, 1.2. — Hab. Musk- 

Shell, thick, and elongated before ; ligament, much de- 
pressed between the valves ; hinge margin, strait and eleva- 
ted ; anterior dorsal margin, truncate and emarginate ; pos- 
terior dorsal, rapidly narrowed; posterior margin, rounded 
and shortened ; anterior margin, rounded ; anterior basal, 
projecting ; basal margin, shortened and arcuated ; epider- 
mis, olivaceous, wrinkled transversely, and maculated with 
deep green pyramidal spots, with the base inverted between 
the wrinkles ; a broad nodulous ridge, extending from the 
beaks to the anterior basal margin, and projecting in front ; 
with small elevations radiating from the ridge to the hinge 
and anterior dorsal margins ; cardinal teeth, deeply crena- 
ted ; lateral teeth, long and well defined ; cavity of the 
beaks, deep, and directed backwards ; posterior cicatrix, 
deep and rough ; naker, pearly white, with colored spots ; 
beautifully iridescent on the fore part. 

Remark. — I have every size of this shell, from one inch to 
full grown. 

No. 14. Unio Phaseolus. — Fig. 14.* 
Shell, long ovate, thick ; disks, rather flattened, ligament 
higher than the beaks ; beaks, depressed and decorticated. 

* White variety of Cuneatus, No. 3. (D. H. B.)— E»- 

284 Dr. Hildreth on fresh water Shells. 

Length, 2.00 ; breadth, 3.5 ; diameter, 1.4. — Hab. Musk- 

Shell, thick and ponderous ; anterior side, narrowed, thin, 
angulated ; beaks, low ; anterior lunule, carinated ; basal 
margin, arcuated ; anterior margin, narrow and rounded ; 
dorsal margin, higher than the beaks ; posterior margin, 
rounded and slightly gaping ; epidermis, light olive and fine- 
ly wrinkled transversely ; cardinal teeth, rather small, lightly 
sulcated, and finely crenated ; lateral teeth, very broad and 
thick ; posterior muscular impression rough and deep ; an- 
terior one, deep and striated ; naker, pearly ; cavity of the 
beaks, shallow, and inner surface marked with several deep 
folds, running obliquely from the cardinal teeth to the ante- 
rior margin. 

Remark. — Quite a common shell in the Muskingum. 

No. 15. Unio Orbiculatus. — Fig. 15. 

Shell, nearly round ; inflated, beaks somewhat promi- 
nent, broad and directed backwards ; anterior lunule, broad 
heart shaped ; cardinal teeth, elevated, angulated. 

Length, 2.5 ; breadth, 2.5; diameter, 1.75. — Hab. Musk- 

Shell, nearly orbicular ; anterior margin, broad, and slight- 
ly rounded ; posterior, short and narrow ; disks, much in- 
flated ; dorsal margin, lightly rounded, and basal margin the 
same ; ligament, thick and elevated, passing between the 
beaks ; beaks, a little projecting, distant and decorticated ; 
epidermis, a dark chesnut on the center of the disks, pas^ 
sing into a light brown as it approaches the margin ; surface 
lightly waved on the upper part of the disks, and finely wrin- 
kled below, transversely ; cardinal teeth, direct, elevated 
and deeply sulcated; lateral teeth, thick and prominent; 
posterior cicatrix, deep, and rough before ; anterior cicatrix, 
broad, finely waved ; striated and beautifully iridescent ; ca- 
vity, broad and deep ; naker, flesh color, and very iridescent 
with purple and violet. 

Remarks. — This shell is a variety of the crassus ; but dif- 
fers so much from any I have seen that it deserves notice. 

No. 16. Unio Foliatus, Fig. 16. 
Shell, shaped like a grape leaf, surface waved ; disks, 
swelled ; base, arcuated, and anterior margin deeply emar- 

Dr. Hildreth on fresh water Shells. 285 

Length, 2.00; breadth, 2.00 ; diameter, 1.12. — Hab. Ohio, 
Shell, compressed and deeply emarginate before ; round- 
ed and projecting behind ; beaks flat and eroded ; ligament, 
more elevated than the beaks, and passing between them ; 
hinge margin, broad and strait ; anterior dorsal margin, pro- 
jecting ; anterior margin, emarginate ; anterior basal, pro- 
jecting ; basal margin, arcuated ; two elevated ridges, ex- 
tending from the beaks, and projecting on the anterior dorsal 
and basal margins, with a broad furrow between ; epider- 
mis, dark olive ; waved transversely, and obscurely rayed 
with green, across the waves ; cardinal teeth small, and that 
in the right valve deeply sulcated ; lateral teeth, short and 
thick ; posterior cicatrix, deep and smooth ; anterior one, 
strongly impressed and rough behind ; cavity, broad and 
shallow ; naker, white, tinged with a beautiful pea green ; 
iridescent on the fore part. 

Re?narks.—Ha.\'mg but one specimen of this shell, I am 
unable to determine whether it is a new variety, or only a 
"lusus natures."* 

No. 17. Unio Alatus. — Fig. 17. 

Shell ovately triangular ; hinge margin elevated into a 
large wing ; valves growing together en the back of the lig- 
ament, inside purple. 

Length, 4.5 ; breadth, 6.5 ; diameter, 1.7. — Hab. Duck 

Shell moderately thick, disks flat and compressed, long be- 
fore and short behind ; beaks depressed ; ligament conceal- 
ed between the valves ; hinge margin, very much elevated 
and compressed ; basal margin nearly strait ; anterior dor- 
sal, emarginate ; anterior margin, rounded and broad ; pos- 
terior margin, rounded and narrow ; surface deeply wrinkled ; 
teeth elevated and crenate ; anterior cicatrix, very broad ; 
posterior composed of three distinct impressions, and also a 
row of very small impressions across the cavity of the beaks ; 
naker, red-purple, very briliant, and most splendidly iride- 
scent on the forepart. 

Remarks. — It is difficult to procure a perfect specimen, of 
a full grown subject, the wing being more or less mutilated. 
The figure of this specimen has been drawn with great care, 

In Mr. Barnes's opinion it is new and distinct. — En. 

286 Vr. Hildreth on fresh water shells. 

and I believe is a faithful representation of the individual de- 
signed. The inner surface of some shells, is sprinkled over 
with small grains, like mustard seed in size, while others are 
nearly or quite free from them, as is the case with the present 

No. 18. Unio Prjelongus. — Fig. 18. 

Shell much elongated transversely, narrow, thick, tumid, 
beaks flat, lateral tooth long, thin ; inside white, tinged with 
green or purple. 

Length, 2.25 ; breadth, 5.& ; diameter, 1.9. — Hab. Duck 

Shell, very long oval ; anterior side somewhat pointed ; 
posterior side short rounded, obtuse ; beaks depressed ; liga- 
ment elevated above the beaks ; basal margin slightly com- 
pressed ; when young, rounded ; epidermis, blackish brown, 
wrinkled transversely, and rayed obscurely ; naker, white, 
and tinged with spots of green, or purple under the beaks, 
with a row of small muscular impressions in the cavity ; pos- 
terior cicatrix deep and not very rough ; iridescent on the 

No. 19. Unio Gibbosus. — Fig. 19. 

Shell, elongated transversely, thick and gibbous ; later 
tooth thick, incurved, inside purple. 

Length, 2.00 ; breadth, 4 ; diameter, 1,1.00. — Hab. Musk- 

Shell, much elongated transversely, thick and heavy ; ra- 
pidly narrowed and rostrate before, narrow and rounded be- 
hind ; disks somewhat compressed ; anterior side much pro* 
duced ; beaks flat ; ligament elevated ; anterior dorsal mar- 
gin, depressed and flattened ; basal margin, nearly strait ; 
epidermis, dark brown, deeply wrinkled transverely ; naker, 
purple ; teeth, crenate ; lateral tooth, thick and rough, and 
folded over towards the inside of the shell ; posterior cicatrix, 
deep, and rather rough ; so deep that in old specimens, it is 
often worn through on this part. 

No. 20. Unio Radiatus. — Fig. 20. 
Shell, ovate, thin, finely striated, glossy, rayed, within blu- 
ish white.! 

* We are informed by Mr. Barnes, that they may be procured in abundance at 
Ticonderoga. — Ed. 

t In Mr. Barnes's opinion, a young Ventricosus, and not the true Radiatus 


Dr. Hildreth on fresh water Shells. 287 

Length, 2.00 ; breadth, 3.5 ; diameter, 1.4. — Hab. Duck 

Shell, thin and fragile ; anterior side, broad •, disks, con- 
vex ; beaks, slightly elevated, and approximate ; ligament, el- 
evated ; hinge margin, elevated, compressed, earinate ; basal 
margin, a little shortened ; in young shells, rounded ; ante- 
rior margin, narrow ; posterior, broad and rounded ; anterior 
dorsal, subtruncate ; epidermis, greenish yellow, rayed with 
dark green, and finely striated transversely ; surface, smooth 
and glossy ; cardinal teeth, crenated and long ; cavity of the 
beaks, small ; posterior muscular impression, broad ; naker, 
bluish white, or pearl color. 

Remarks. — This is a very neat, and handsome shell — outer 
surface remarkably clean, and free from parasitic plants* — 
It is said to be very superior for eating. 

No. 21. Unio Ovatus. — Fig. 21. 

Shell, roundish ovate, convex, umboes elevated, beaks re- 
curved, and approximate ; anterior lunule, flattened ; teeth, 
crest-like, elevated. 

Length, 3.75 ; breadth, 5.00 ; diameter, 2.25 — Hab. 

Shell, broader before, and narrower behind the beaks ; thin 
and translucent when young ; and not thick when old ; disks, 
swelled ; umboes, prominent ; ligament, partly concealed ; 
anterior lunule flattened, and fuscous, becoming lamelar with 
striae and wrinkles ; epidermis, yellowish, or horn color ; sur- 
face, glabrous and shining, deeply wrinkled, and rayed in 
young subjects ; cardinal teeth, crest like, elevated, compres- 
sed, oblike, nearly on a line with the anterior dorsal margin ; 
lateral teeth, short and elevated ; cicatrices, smooth and po- 
lished ; cavity, large and somewhat angular ; naker, pearly 

Remarks. — This is one of the most common shells in the 
Muskingum, and remarkably uniform it its appearance. I 
think it a near relation of the gracilis. 

No. 22. Unio Triangularis. — Fig. 22. 
Shell, triangular, gibbous inflated, rayed, gaping ; anterior 
slope, flattened, ribbed, cancelate ; inside, white. 

* Because it is young. Mr. Barnes. — Ed. 

288 Br. Hildreth on fresh water Shells. 

Length, 1.25 ; breadth, 2.00 ; diameter, 1.1. — Hab. Duck 

Shell, moderately thick, acutely angulated before, obtuse, 
and somewhat angulated behind ; disks, inflated ; anterior 
slope, flattened, very broad, ribbed longitudinally, and wrink- 
led transversely ; beaks, one third from posterior extremity, 
decorticated, approximate, and somewhat elevated ; anterior 
lunule, oval heart shaped, in the smaller, and perfectly heart 
shaped in the larger specimens ; basal margin, a little de- 
pressed near the anterior extremity ; anterior margin, angula- 
ted ; posterior margin, rounded and broad ; epidermis, yel- 
lowish green, rayed with dark green, finely striated trans- 
versely, and with from three to six, more conspicuous trans- 
verse wrinkles ; anterior slope, marked with longitudinal ribs, 
which are beautifully cancelated ; ribs, projecting and form- 
ing a dentated edge ; cardinal teeth, two in each valve, com- 
pressed and crenulate ; lateral teeth, short, projecting, and 
terminating abruptly ; naker, bluish white, slightly iridescent. 

No. 23. Unio Gracilis.— Fig. 23. 

Shell, ovately triangular, very thin and fragile ; hinge mar- 
gin, elevated ; ligament, concealed. 

Length, 2.5 ; breadth, 3.5 ; diameter, 1.25. — Hab. Little 

Beaks, depressed and placed far back ; ligament, between 
the valves, and covered ; anterior lunule, distinct ; hinge mar- 
gin, elevated into a large wing, in the perfect specimens ; 
epidermis, sea green, wrinkled and striated transversely, gla- 
brous ; cardinal teeth, very small, scarcely projecting ; later- 
al teeth, very thin and delicate ; naker, bluish white, tinged 
with violet, and beautifully iridescent. 

Remark. — This shell is but a small specimen of the graci- 
lis, in these waters. I have heard of one three times the size 
— the wing is much mutilated. The contour of the shell, in- 
dependent of the wing, is much like that of the alatus. It is 
a more delicate shell, and inside more beautifully irised, if 
possible — not a common shell in this vicinity, as I have but 
one specimen.* 

The above, are all the specimens of the Unio, that have as 
yet fallen under my notice ; but as my researches have 

It is abundant in Lake Champlain.( D. H. B.) — Ed. 

Dr. Hildreth on fresh water Shells 289 

been but partial, I have no doubt, of being able to add a nun> 
ber more to my collection. 


Generic Character. 

Shell, transverse, equivalve, inequilateral, free ; beaks, de- 
corticated ; posterior muscular impression, compound 
hinge, with prominent cardinal teeth in each valve, but with- 
out lateral teeth. 

No. 24. Alasmodonta Uugosa. — Fig. 24. 

Length, 2.25 ; breadth, 4.10 ; diameter, 1.20. — Hab. Lit- 
tle Muskingum. 

Shell, oblong oval, about equally broad, before and be- 
hind ; beaks, very slightly elevated, wrinkled and decortica- 
ted, wax color beneath ; ligament, external, and rather high- 
er than the beaks ; anterior lunule, distinct, with a slightly 
elevated ridge, extending from the beaks to the anterior ba- 
sal margin; basal margin, a little shortened, or nearly strait, 
the other margins rounded ; epidermis, ehesnut brown, with 
a silky luster ; surface of the anterior part folded in a pinnate 
form ; folds deeper and larger as they approach the anterior 
basal margin ; curved upwards, and extending to the hinge, 
indenting the edge, and appearing on the inside ; teeth large 
and elevated, having in some specimens, a curved appear- 
ance ; cicatrices, smooth ; cavity, small ; naker, pale flesh 
colored in the center, pearly on the margin, with a nar- 
row border of dark chocolate ; surface, glossy, with a rich 
blue tinge, over the fimbriated portion of the shell. 

Remarks. — I have several specimens of this shell, young 
and old — in some, the teeth are much deformed, but the 
valves are equal and uniform. 

No. 25. Alasmodonta Complanata. — Pig. 25. 

Shell, ovately quadrangular ; hinge margin, elevated into 
a large wing ; valves, connate ; ligament, concealed ; wing, 

Length, 4.75 ; breadth, 5.9 ; diameter, 1.75. — Hab. Duck 

Shell, short behind ; disks, much flattened ; beaks, slight- 
ly projecting ; ligament, between the valves ; anterior lunule, 
much compressed, and folded across the traverse wrinkles -. 

Vol. XIV.— No. 2. 11 

290 Dr. Hildreth oh fresh water Shells. 

hinge margin, elevated into a large wing, which is pinnated, 
or folded ; forming an obtuse angle with the post dorsal mar- 
gin ; basal margin, rounded ; anterior dorsal, arcuated ; an- 
terior margin, truncate ; posterior, rounded ; epidermis, dark 
brown, with a tinge of red below the beaks ; surface, wrink- 
led ; slightly elevated ridges and furrows extending from the 
beaks, to the anterior margin ; teeth, elevated, sulcated, and 
radiating from the beaks ; cicatrices, smooth ; cavity, small 
and angular ; naker, bluish white, and iridescent on the fore- 
part, with a border of rich reddish brown, on the margin. 

Remarks. — I have several-specimens of this shell, in all of 
which the wing is folded, in some, very beautifully — gener- 
ally found in ripples, or rapid water, and rocky bottom. 

Genus Anodonta. 

Generic Character. 

Shell transverse, with three obsolete muscular impressions, 
hinge simple ; destitute of teeth. 

No. 26 Anodonta Undulata. — Fig. 26. 

Shell very thin, not thicker than brown paper ; convex, 
nearly oval ; epidermis greenish, or olivaceous, darker on 
the umbo ; obscurely rayed and striated longitudinally ; rays 
lighter than the general surface ; distantly waved transverse- 
ly, waves appearing on the inside ; beaks prominent, acute, 
approximate ; slightly decorticated, wax color beneath ; lig- 
ament partly concealed ; hinge margin rectilinear ; anterior 
dorsal margin compressed and angulated ; anterior margin 
sub-truncated ; posterior margin rounded and projecting ; 
basal margin ovally rounded ; surface glossy and polished : 
destitute of cardinal or lateral teeth ; naker light cerulean, 
tinged with violet ; cavity capacious ; basal and anterior 
margins bordered with a broad line of rich brown. 

Length, 1.75; breadth, 3.00 ; diameter, 1.25. — Hab. Lit- 
tle Muskingum. A very delicate and beautiful shell. 

The only specimen of univalve, is figured No. 27, and 
was found in the Little Muskingum ; it is the largest I have 
seen of that species, smaller ones being very common. — It 
appears to belong to the genus Paludina, species Decisa ; 
as described in American Conchology, plate 2. fig. 6. — It is 
1.5 in length, and 1.00 in diameter. 

Closing Remarks. — In the above list of shells there are four 
varieties, which I have not seen described, and have ventured to 

. i ? *■ ^ <£ 




21. 'tt-C. 

On the Boulders of Primitive Rocks found hi Ohio, fyc. 29 i 

give them specific names, viz. Orbiculatus, Phaseolus, and 
Foliatus, of the Unios ; and Undulata, of the genus Anodon- 
ta — my other descriptions are generally copied from Mr. 
Barnes, except in particulars where my specimens differed 
from his. The subject is in a manner new to me, and lacks 
the finish of an experienced workman. 

Art. VIII. — On the Boulders of Primitive Rocks found in 
Ohio, and other western states and territories ; by Benja- 
min Tappan. 

to the editor. 

It seems to have been taken for granted, that the masses 
of primitive and transition rocks, found in the territory north 
west of the Ohio river, scattered over the surface of the 
ground, and occasionally beneath the surface, as deep as ex- 
cavations have been made, are of foreign origin. Found in a 
region wholly secondary, these boulders, (as they are called, 
perhaps from the French boule, a ball,) apparently out of 
place, have hitherto excited the attention of geologists, not 
so much to examine and describe them, as to invent some 
plausible theory concerning their removal from their suppo- 
sed native seats, to their present situation. The terra incog- 
nita of the north seems to have been generally supposed to 
be the region from which they were removed, and the force 
which removed them water. One conjectures, that the whole 
of the basins of the Mississippi and of the present great lakes, 
may, in remote times, have been one immense lake, bounded 
on all sides, by an unbroken range of mountains, and that 
large pieces of floating ice, from the north side, might carry 
those blocks attached to them, and drop them, as the ice 
melted in going south.* 

Another thinks, that " the impression is irresistible, that it 
is the result of an immense current, or body of water, pour- 
ing down from the north, sweeping the south side of Lake 
Erie and all the Sciota country and Miami valley."t 

In general coincidence with these writers many others 
might be cited, some of whom have described these boul- 
ders, as rounded by attrition or water worn. 

I doubt much, whether such theories have ever been ad- 
vantageous to the cause of science. So great in most men., 
— ■ • ■ 

* Journal of Science, vol. 6, p. 98. | Journal of Science, vol. 13, p. 39. 

292 On the Boulders of Primitive Rocks found in Ohio, fyc. 

is the inclination to indolence, that a plausible theory is likely 
to be preferred to a laborious investigation of facts, and to 
render the person adopting as well as the one inventing it, 
satisfied and contented, with so cheap and easy substitute for 
knowledge. I doubt also the soundness of these " specula- 
tive conjectures," and the force of these " irresistible impres- 
sions," and incline to think them altogether visionary. 

The question how the boulders of primitive and transition 
rocks, found scattered over the north western territory, came 
there, can be answered, only when many facts, of which, 
as yet, we are entirely ignorant, are discovered and pro- 
ved. The composition of these boulders may be similar 
to, or identical with the composition of some primitive and 
transition formation known to exist, in situ, in such relative 
position, as would admit of removal to the places where the 
boulders are now found, by the application of an adequate 
force. That such force could have existed and have been 
applied, consistently with the known laws of nature, must 
also be established. 

McKenzie and Bigsby are not the only writers from whom 
we learn, that a ridge or mountain range, of primitive and 
transition formation, extends from the coast of Labrador to 
the north west of Lake Superior, dividing the waters which 
fall into Hudson's Bay, from those which fall into the lakes 
of the St. Lawrence ; but, whether this is a continuous and 
unbroken ridge, seems doubtful. It may however be admit- 
ted as probable, and it may also be probable, that it contains 
all the varieties exhibited in the composition of the boulders 
in question, and yet these probabilities would be but a weak 
substratum whereon to erect a scientific edifice. 

I do not pretend to have seen more than a small part of 
these boulders, and the portion which I have examined is 
much smaller. The northern ridge I have never seen, nor 
have I access to any geological description of it. The boul- 
ders which I have examined, are granite, gneiss, sienite, and 
greenstone ; of granite and granitic aggregates every variety 
mentioned by Cleaveland, except graphic granite. Fine spe- 
cimens of a porphyritic granite, apparently identical with 
that described by Doct. Bigsby in the Journal of Science, 
vol. 8, p. 65, are found near Columbus, Ohio. The gneiss 
also embraces many varieties, some of which alternate with 
hornblende slate, and some contain the common garnet; 
there is also a considerable variety in the sienite. Almost all 
the greenstones which I have seen, were situated in the val- 

On the Boulders of Primitive Rocks found in Ohio, fyc. 293 

leys of rivers, and they are the only species which are round- 
ed and smoothed by attrition. The largest mass that I have 
seen, is not more than two feet in diameter ; the composition 
is uniformly fine grained, principally of hornblende, and to 
the naked eye the texture is apparently homogenous ; and 
with a glass, the grains of feldspar and prisms of hornblende 
are plainly distinguished. 

Is there any evidence, that similar minerals are in place 
north of the great lakes ? If such evidence exists, as to all 
of them, it would lay a foundation to conjecture, that they 
all had the same local origin, but, if it exists as to a part only, 
such conjecture would not be admitted, any more than it 
would be reasonable to suppose, that all these boulders came 
from Massachusetts, because a mass of granite is found in 
the town of Randolph, Portage county, Ohio, identical in its 
appearance with the granite, excavated at Rail hill, North- 
ampton, Mass. ; or, because a mass of old red sandstone, ap- 
parently like the old red sandstone that underlies Mount 
Tom, is found in the neighborhood of the granite. 

If it were ascertained, that there existed a northern ridge, 
composed of similar materials with the boulders, and the in- 
termediate country were an inclined plain, descending to the 
north western territory, the " impression 1 ' might be strong, 
that the boulders came from that ridge, but it would not be 
" irresistible," for we should still want a force adequate to 
the removal of such ponderous masses. Could that force be 
water ? To say, that an immense body of water was, at some 
remote period, collected at or near the north pole, and that 
it flowed over the north western territory, carrying with it 
large masses of granite and depositing them, at an altitude 
of one thousand one hundred and sixty-five feet above the 
present surface of the Atlantic ocean, where some of them 
now repose, would seem to be indulging something like the 
visionary daring of Capt. Symmes. 

"It may be doubted whether the uniformity, order and 
regularity of the general laws of nature, which have at any 
time come within the limits of our observation, can warrant 
a supposition, founded on such complete changes in the 
mode of action."* It is incumbent on the supporters of 

* "Essay on the formation of Rocks," &c. by William Maclure ; Journal of 
the Academy of Natural Sciences, vol. 1, p. 261. This essay ought not to be 
mentioned without an acknowledgment — it is strikingly characteristic of its 
author; its extensive and accurate research, its clearness, precision and truth, 
are not more remarkable than its philosophic caution and invariable modesty. 

294 On the Boulders of Primitive Rocks found in Ohio, fyc. 

such a theory, to demonstrate, at least the possibility of such 
a great mass of water being collected at the north, to sweep 
over this continent, or the conjecture that such was the fact 
must remain one of very doubtful authority. 

The surface of Lake Erie is five hundred and sixty-five 
feet above the Atlantic ocean, and three hundred feet above 
Lake Ontario. If the water flowing into Lake Erie, were 
to raise it fifty feet, it would find its way into Lake Ontario 
by a channel probably eighty or ninety miles wide.* Lake 
Erie must be raised upwards of three hundred and thirty-four 
feet to pour any of its waters into the Sciota country or 
Miami valley, and upwards of six hundred feet to reach the 
highest grounds on which the boulders are deposited. The 
dividing ridge, (as it is sometimes called,) between the waters, 
flowing northward into the lakes, and southward into the 
Ohio and Mississippi, is about one thousand two hundred 
feett above Lake Erie ; where the head waters of the Alle- 
gany river run out of it, it continues to keep up the appear- 
ance of a ridge of land to the westward, until it reaches 
near to the west line of Pennsylvania, and is, on the turnpike 
road from Erie to Waterford about seven hundred feet 
above the lake ; west of that line the ridge entirely disap- 
pears, and the waters flow north and south from a level and 
swampy country ; not unfrequently, the same swamp is 
drained, upon one side, into the St. Lawrence and upon the 
other, into the Gulf of Mexico. This dividing ground in the 
state of Ohio, has been ascertained, by actual measurement, 
in the lowest place, to be three hundred and thirty-four feet 
above Lake Erie. It is, however, of unequal elevation ; in 
some places certainly five hundred and fifty, and probably in 
others, six hundred feet above the lake, and if we take Lake 
Michigan to be, as represented, not more than twenty-five 
feet higher than Lake Erie, the lowest ground dividing the 

* I infer this from a view of the country on each side of Niagara river, and 
from the fact mentioned by Doct. Bigsby, (Journal of Science, vol. 8, p. 69,) 
that the "York Highlands" and "Burlington heights," some of the highest 
grounds in that region, are hut three hundred feet above Lake Ontario, that is, 
they rise to the level of Lake Erie. 

t Darby's Tour, p. 175. The opinion, here given by Mr. Darby, is probably 
correct, for the Allegany river, after its long and rapid course from the state of 
New York to its junction with the Monongahela, is still considerably higher 
than Lake Erie. Thirty miles below the junction, at the mouth of the Big 
Beaver, the Ohio river is one hundred and twenty -seven feet above the level of 
Lake Erie. 

On the Boulclers of Primitive Rocks found in Ohio, fyc. 295 

waters flowing north and south, is found south of Lake 
Michigan, or between the heads of the St. Peter and Red 

On the supposition, that an immense lake covered the 
north western territory, one thousand one hundred and sixty 
five feet above the ocean, its northern bank must have disap- 
peared from the country west of Lake Superior, as the St. 
Lawrence, Mississippi, Red river and Saskashawine rise, in a 
vast plain from ponds and swamps, which are probably at no 
greater elevation than the great plain of the North Western 
territory.* If this difficulty were removed, and we could 
take for granted, that a sufficient barrier to the supposed 
lake, upon the north side, did exist in remote times, the south 
would remain to be provided for. On the inclined plane, 
over which the waters of the Mississppi flow to the gulf of 
Mexico, no appearance of any ridge or mountain range has 
been observed, lying in a direction across the course of that 
river below the mouth of the Ohio ; the Ozark mountains 
and all the other elevated ridges seem to run parallel with 
the Mississippi valley, and if any of them are as high as the 
great plain of the North western territory their position pre- 
cludes the supposition, that they ever formed the southern 
shore of the conjectured " immense lake." 

It may be doubted, whether any of the hills bordering the 
Ohio river, are higher than the plain north west of them ; the 
rivers Wabash, Miami, Sciota, Muskingum and Big Beaver, 
all rise in this plain ; flowing, at first, with gentle current, and 
within low banks, they, (particularly the four latter) soon 
change the " even tenor of their way," 1 ' to one more impet- 
uous, and descend to the Ohio river, through vallies increasing 
in depth, as they rush onward. They, with their numerous 
tributaries, whose channels are similarly formed, seem to 
have cut up the whole country bordering on the Ohio, into 
ridges always running parallel with their courses ; these rid- 
ges are lower below the falls of Ohio than above, and lower 
in proportion, as the great plain of the north west descends 
toward the south, with a greater declivity than the bed of the 
Ohio. The falls of the Ohio, at Louisville are not caused by 
the breaking through, or wearing away of a mountain range, 
their being no appearance of such range, upon either side. 

* Major Long's Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, vol. 2, p. 379, 

296 On the Boulders of Primitive Rocks found in Ohio, $>c* 

What is called the falls is a natural dyke of limestone twenty 
two feet high, crossing the bed of the river, and the water is 
backed up by it, as it would be, in anyplace, by a mill dam of 
the same height — If the dyke were removed, the fall would 

The justly celebrated traveller Volney (who examined the 
north western territory) was of opinion, that " it is an eleva- 
ted plain, about as high as the Allegany range." Actual 
measurements prove that he was mistaken, as to the height 
of this plain, although they prove also, that it is in truth an 
" elevated plain" and render it highly probable, that the 
streams, flowing down its north side, would find descending 
ground to Hudson's bay, were it not for the intervention of 
the great valley of the St. Lawrence, as the waters from the 
north side of the continuation of this plain, west of the Mis- 
sissippi, find their way into the northern ocean. To suppose 
therefore, this elevated table land to have been the bottom 
of an immense lake, or to suppose, that a current of water 
has swept some northern mountain up, on to this plain and 
scattered its fragments over it, are suppositions which appear 
altogether inadmissible. 

How then came these boulders in their present situation ? 
In the present state of knowledge, this question cannot be 
answered. In the mean time, ignorance is preferable to er- 
ror, and what is unknown may be examined. It may there- 
fore be asked, why may not these rocks have been created 
where they are now found ? If we have not seen the opera- 
tions of nature in forming primitive rocks, it may be because 
the process is so slow as to elude observation. It is evident 
that some classes of rocks are constantly undergoing the 
processes of aggregation and disintegration ; the primitive 
as well as the secondary, are seen to decay and fall to pieces; 
the quartz, the hardest mineral which enters into the com- 
position of granite, is of constant growth, in all its crystal- 
line and some of its amorphous forms, and from the uniform 
analogies of nature, its aggregation into granite may be sup- 
posed as probable as its aggregation into sandstones is 
known to be certain. Again, why may they not have been 
thrown out by earthquakes or volcanos ? The horizontal strat- 
ification of the great vallies of the Mississippi is not entirely 
uniform. In some places, the strata of limestone, in others 
of sandstone and in more, of the slates have evidently been 
disrupted and thrown out of an horizontal position, by some 

On the Principles of Motion, tyc. 297 

upward force, and are now seen in every inclination, from 
vertical to horizontal. Many of the masses of rock, now on 
the surface, seem to have been subjected to the action of 
great heat, and although no rocks of decidedly volcanic ori- 
gin have been observed, our knowledge is too superficial and 
limited to warrant us in saying that such do not exist. 
Steubenville, Ohio, March 27th, 1827. 

Art. IX. — On the Principles of Motion, and their use in the 
higher branches of Mathematics. 

The astonishing discoveries made in natural philosophy, 
and more particularly of those grand principles, which regu- 
late the movements of the great bodies of the universe, are 
to be ascribed, principally, to the skilful use made of the 
mathematics in the development of these discoveries. As 
this science has thus afforded the most certain and powerful 
assistance to philosophy, the principles of the latter, com- 
mon to both, have contributed to the extension and illustra- 
tion of the former, in its more difficult and complicated re- 
searches. The idea of motion, either local, or of aggrega- 
tion, or diminution is essential to that of the generation and 
investigation of all curvilinear figures, and is that which was 
employed by the ancients for that purpose. Similar views 
of quantity in general, generated by motion and regulated 
by certain laws, originated that most extensive and impor- 
tant of all the mathematical sciences, denominated by New- 
ton fluxions, and by Leibnitz the differential calculus. The 
first of these great men illustrated the doctrine by motion, 
and demonstrated it by the ancient method of limits, show- 
ing the comparative effects of a motion which is uniform, 
and of one which is varied in any ratio of this, or according 
to any law dependent on the uniform motion. The latter 
estimated the same effects by that, which has been denomi- 
nated by Aristotle the motion of aggregation, or the rate by 
which the infinitely small elements, or parts of any quantity 
are aggregated. There appear to be no just grounds of 
objection to either of these modes of conception, in the gen- 
eration of quantity, as both are susceptible of demonstra- 
tions of equal validity and clearness with those of other 
branches of the mathematics, whose direct relations cannot 
be inferred. Our ideas of quantity, (the whole subject of the 

Vol. XIV.— No. 2. 12 

298 On the Principles of Motion, tyc. 

mathematics,) depend on some species of motion, which rs 
conceived to measure the space, or interval occupied by the 
quantity, or numerically on the relation of the quantity to 
some standard measure, or unit ; this mode of considering 
quantity is virtually a motion of aggregation, and when so 
estimated, has been denominated discrete quantity and the 
other, continued. There are only names given to what is 
immutable and identical, according to the two modes of ex- 
istence in our ideas. But that which has been the subject of 
many cavils and much ingenious discussion on the principles 
of this science, is not any supposed want of clearness in 
either mode of conceiving of quantity. It is the logic or the 
legitimate deductions of the calculus in its first principles, 
where the ratio of variables dependent on one another, is to 
be estimated in their ultimate or vanishing state, which is 
oppugned. That, say the objectors, must be either some- 
thing or nothing; if it be something, it must partake of all 
the successive variations, which arise from the variation of 
the magnitude, and will not be that which has been assigned 
by mathematicians as the true ratio: but if it be nothing, 
there can be no ratio assigned. Here the mathematician 
may come in and say that it is neither something nor nothing, 
if by those terms are meant substance or matter, but a spe- 
cies of quantity well known in mathematics to have a ratio, 
though without any material existence or occupancy of space, 
viz. the limits of quantities. Geometry, the clearest and most 
evident of all the sciences, assumes them as the fundamentals 
on which its towering fabric is built. Points, lines, and sur- 
faces, are the first principles of reasoning in this accurate 
science. It is not our object to enter on any metaphysical 
discussion, relative to the connexion of these limits with the 
actual quantities with which they are inherently united. It 
will be sufficient to observe, that they have never been made 
a ground of objection to the elegant demonstrations of Euc- 
lid, Archimedes, Apollonius, and others; but because in the 
higher branches of mathematics, they are more remote and 
recondite, and less the subjects of common observation or 
comprehension; here there has been more room for dispu- 
tants and cavillers, such as Berkeley, to raise objections, which 
undoubtedly must ever exist in the minds of those who have 
never penetrated the subject in any form. 

Newton and Leibnitz had laid the foundation of this sci- 
ence on a sufficiently tenable ground; but illustration and 

On the Principles of Motion, <$c 299 

more practical arguments were necesssary for the less pene- 
trating and profound, the disciples of Berkeley and others. 
These, when the science was attacked, were abundantly af- 
forded by the most superior minds. I need only mention the 
names of Robins, Jurin, and Maclaurin. Their writings 
have so completely established the foundations of the higher 
calculus, that scarcely a doubt on the subject of its true logic, 
had arisen for more than half a century. Since their time, 
however, Lagrange, an eminent mathematician, has pro- 
claimed certain dogmas relative to this subject, and in them 
has afforded what by some is considered as a demonstration, 
which, if not satisfactory, is less exceptionable, than those of 
his predecessors ; the substance of which appears to be, 

1. That Newton's illustrations and demonstration of the 
science by motion or flowing, and the limits of ratios, are 
improper and unmathematical, as every science ought to be 
based on its own principles, and that that of motion is not 
mathematical but physical. 

2. The method of Leibnitz too, which consists in the com- 
parison of dependent variables when infinitely small, he pro- 
nounces as very objectionable, and not founded on any clear 

3. He considers the subject as peculiarly and exclusively 
belonging to algebra or analysis, and the theory of the de- 
velopment of functions. 

Now from these positions, it would seem that those great 
geniuses who originated the science in question, and by 
whose reflected light only, Lagrange has shone as a mathe- 
matician, are considered by him as not having established it 
on a legitimate foundation, or as not having given to it the 
true metaphysique. Before he had found out a new one of 
his own, when there was no other than that of Newton or 
Leibnitz, did he mistrust the foundation of the calculus ? On 
the contrary, did he not use it with great success and much 
to the improvement of science 1 

We have already shown that the idea of motion origina- 
ted this science, and that it is truly a mathematical idea, as 
being inherently essential to that of quantity. As a cause 
producing effects, it is a physical attribute, but no otherwise 
than existing in matter. Motion itself, independent of its 
existence in body, and productive of physical action, is sus- 
ceptible of more or less, and the ratio of one motion to ano- 

300 On the Principles of Motion, fyc. 

ther is assignable by an arithmetical or algebraical calculus.* 
It is not easy to conceive, why a principle, which has been 
the most productive source of discovery in the mathematics, 
particularly in descriptive geometry, and the reasonings and 
demonstrations of the properties of curve lines, should be 
exploded from the mathematics and exclusively confined to 

What is objected to Leibnitz's use of infinitesimals will 
equally apply to the ancient method of exhaustions, and 
even to the doctrine of limits, which never will be intelligible 
to those, who confound metaphysical, and mathematical in- 
finity. In a full discussion of this subject I must refer to 
Maclaurin's Fluxions, or the works of Benjamin Robins. 
The other position of Lagrange, that the subject belongs 
peculiarly and exclusively to analysis, or algebra, is in our 
view wholly gratuitous, unless it be in reference to the calcu- 
lus only, or the numerical operations, as indicated by the 
algebraic expressions, according to which the values of the 
variable quantities must finally be determined. But this is 
not peculiar to the science under consideration. Every 
branch of the mathematics, when brought to practice, must 
be reduced to the idea of quantity as constituted by aggre- 
gation, or as composed numerically of some quantity as the 
standard of measure, or the unit of that species of it, to 
which it belongs. In geometry, quantities are represented 
by lines, or some figure of the magnitude itself. In Algebra, 
the same are expressed by symbols, or letters, which desig- 
nate the numerical parts of which they are composed. Ac- 
cording to either mode of designation, the demonstration 
of the science depends on the same principles, viz. the de- 
termination of the ratio of increase, or diminution at a point. 
For this purpose, the ratio of the increments, or decrements 
of the variables is first considered, and then what that ratio 
will be at the point of vanishing. We know of no other 
method by which that ratio can be established ; and to us, as 
it respects the demonstration, it appears wholly immaterial 
whether that be expressed geometrically, or algebraically. 
But according to either mode, it must rest on the doctrine 
of limits and limiting ratios, as a legitimate subject of math- 
ematical demonstration. To have recourse to far fetched 
principles, which themselves are built entirely on fundamen- 
tal truths, is argumentum in circulo, wholly inconsistent with 

* See Robins' Mathematical Tracts, vol. 2. 

On the Principles of Motion, <^c. 301 

logic, and derogatory to the purity, and evidence of the 
mathematics. For an illustration of our remarks, suppose 
e to be an increment of a uniformly varying quantity x ; 
then x-\-e will be the quantity varied by the increment, this 
variation will be uniform in all values of x, but the variation 
of the variables dependent on x-\-e, or what is denominated 
the functions of this new value of x, as x-\-e n ; will not be 
uniform, but may be easily investigated by the development 
of x-\-e n ; for greater simplicity suppose the function to be 
x-{-e*=x 2 -\-%xe-{-ec, the increment, or variation of this 
from its first value, when it had no increment is 2-re-f-ee, 
which is to the uniform increment of x, or e, as 2xe-\-ee to 
to e, or as 2x+e to 1. 

Here the ratio of the increment of the function to its base, 
or root, is ascertained very readily by its algebraic develop- 
ment ; and if this were truly its differential or fluxion, there 
would be no ground of questioning the legitimacy of the 
logic of this science, but the objection to it rests entirely on 
the casting away of the increment e, from the expression 
2x-\-e of the ratio of the whole increment of the function, 
since e, must ever constitute a part of it while it has any 
finite value. It may be said that the ratio of %x to 1 , or what 
is called the differential co-efficient, is independent of e, and 
has a real value when e vanishes ; which is true, but it is then 
at its limit and the ratio is that of the limit, and not of the 
increment, consequently no new discovery is made by this 
mode of conception. If the second term of the develop- 
ment be assumed as the true differential, this will be apetitio 
principii, or taking for granted what is to be proved. In 
short, we perceive no logical principles in LaGrange's Ana- 
lytical demonstrations, which are not common to the geo- 
metrical. It must, however, be allowed, that the former af- 
ford facilities of operation, which are peculiar to analysis, 
but the latter are more remarkable for their clearness, and ir- 
resistable evidence. Both should go hand in hand, as each 
contributes to the other great advantages. A predilection 
for analysis, which term is improperly applied to algebra 
only, has led some modern mathematicians into extremes by 
imagining this instrument of discovery immeasurably potent. 
That it is very much so, will not be denied ; but the abstract 
reasonings from symbols, do not always discover truth. 
There must be a reference to its kindred science, or great 

302 On the Principles of Motion, tyc. 

errors may be committed ; for example, if it were required 
to inscribe any chord given in magnitude within a given cir- 
cle, x denoting the versed sine of the arch, which will be 
subtended by the given chord, a the diameter of the circle, 

b the chord, x will be = — ; therefore whatever be the giv- 
en magnitudes of b and a, there may always be found a val- 
ue of x, which will satisfy the algrebraic equation, yet it is 
manifest, that if 6 be greater than «, the value of a?, derived 
from the equation will be of no use for solving the equation. 
In pure Algebra where the numerical values only of the 
terms are considered, negative quantities independently con- 
sidered, are absurd, and impossible ; and because the rules 
of the science are derived from their connected, or relative 
effect on positive, or affirmative quantities, it is, that the op- 
erations of negative quantities never produce negative even 
powers as -a 2 , the roots of such quantities are said to be 
impossible, but this is not otherwise the case, than that — a 
itself is impossible in pure Algebra. The first is accounted 
so because there is no reversion of rules, which will produce 
its root, in the same manner as the impossibility in the irre- 
ducible case in Cardan's theorem, arises from the imper- 
fection of the assumptions in the composition of the rules, 
being grounded on a very restricted condition. Pure Alge- 
bra, or Analysis, therefore is imperfect. It is only in geome- 
try, that the use of negatives affords to it the greatest evi- 
dence, and universality. 

In drawing conclusions from pure analytical expressions, 
without reference, to the nature, condition, or restrictions 
of the problem, we may commit the greatest mistakes, and fall 
into the greatest absurdities ; some of the most egregious in 
the writings of Euler have been detected by Mr. Robins, 
which may be seen in the tracts of the latter vol. 2, p. 209, &c. 

Our remarks were intended to show the connexion, har- 
mony, and dependence of the two great branches of the 
mathematics, and that the fundamental principles of both 
are identical, although differently represented. 


On moving Stones, in Lakes, Ponds, $c. 303 

Art. X. — On moving Stones, in Lakes, Ponds, <^c. j by 
Nathaniel Chipman. 

to the editor. 

Sir — Having been lately favored by a friend, with the pe- 
rusal of the American Journal of Science and Arts, I obser- 
ved, in the 5th volume an anonymous communication, giving 
an account of a stone or stones in a pond in Salisbury, Con- 
necticut, which appeared to be moving from time to time, 
from some unknown cause, in a direction to the shore. 

In the 9th volume, Mr. Charles Lee, who acknowledges 
himself to be the author of the first communication, has as- 
signed the true cause, which he discovered to be the floating- 
ice of the pond, on its being broken up ; and he has verified 
his opinion not by witnessing the actual operation, but by ob- 
servation of the effects, which must necessarily have accom- 
panied it. 

As I have been so fortunate as to see the operation per- 
formed, I will give a brief statement of the facts and circum- 
stances, which may serve to convince those, if any there be, 
who still doubt. 

There is in Tinmouth, adjoining the farm on which I now 
live, and partly encompassed by it on the north, a pond, a 
little less than a mile in length from north to south, and about 
half a mile broad in the widest part. I became acquainted 
with it in the year 1775, when my father owned the farm and 
resided on it. I then observed several stones of different 
sizes ; some might be called rocks, lying in the edge of the 
water, particularly on the west shore towards the north end 
of the pond, which evidently appeared to have been forced 
forward in a line inclining to the shore, by some powerful 
cause, leaving behind them channels of considerable length, 
and the largest having the longest channels. Many conjec- 
tures were at that time made respecting the cause, none of 
which appeared to me satisfactory. I repeatedly observed 
these stones afterwards, and found that they had, from year 
to year, from the appearances, been forced forward in the 
same direction. In the year 1782, I came into possession of 
the farm. I had observed, that as the warm weather advan- 
ced in the spring, the ice at the north part of the pond, where 
it was exposed to the influence of the sun and southerly winds, 
disappeared to a considerable distance, before it was disen- 

304 On moving Stones, in Lakes, Ponds, $y. 

gaged from the south shore, where, by a tall and thick forest 
of hemlock and spruce, it was protected from the influence 
of both ; and that when released from the shore, the ice was 
sometimes driven to the north by a southerly wind, in a field 
containing from sixty to eighty acres, and from two to three 
feet in thickness, and on a change of the wind to the north 
or north west, it was again returned to the south — this led me 
to believe that the ice was the agent in the removal of those 
stones. In order to be assured of this, I afterwards, in the 
spring of 1783, (if I rightly recollect the time,) took an op- 
portunity, when the ice was moving to the north in a large 
field, before a south wind, to place myself by a large stone 
on the western shore, before marked for observation, which 
from the track left behind, appeared to have been moved in 
former years, to a considerable distance. The ice approach- 
ed with a very slow motion, hardly perceptible. When it 
met the stone, the thinner edge of the ice gave way a little 
and was broken off, but it soon became sufficiently thick and 
strong to perform its task. As soon as it had taken a firm 
hold of the stone, I heard a grating noise of the gravel be- 
neath, and plainly saw the motion of the stone, as well as of 
the gravel and earth that was accumulated and accumula- 
ting before it. I observed it attentively, while it was moved 
a foot or more, when the progress was arrested by the ice 
swinging round against the eastern shore of the pond, which 
was there too narrow to permit it to pass farther up. The 
course was not in a line directly to the shore, but making 
with it an acute angle to the north, in a line with the force im- 
pressed. I had observed by the track, that the movement 
had not been always in a right line, but deflected a little, 
sometimes on one side, sometimes on the other, occasioned 
no doubt by a variation in the line of the impelling force, 
from a like variation of the wind at different times. Having 
now fully satisfied myself of the cause of these movements, 
1 sought no farther opportunity of witnessing the operation ; 
others however have since told me they have made the same 
observations. I have always conversed freely on the subject, 
and have related the circumstances to many, and among the 
others to men of science, and so familiar was it to my mind, 
and the cause appeared to be so obviously pointed out by 
the situation, that when I lately found the phenomena con- 
sidered as wonderful and almost exceeding credibility, the 
wonder appeared to me, that at a time when the ardor of 

Mineralogy and Geology of a part of Nova Scotia. 305 

philosophical research has left almost no corner or recess of 
the physical world unexplored, this should have been still 
considered as a wonderful secret of nature. But I believe 
it often happens, that while we are looking out for something 
more recondite and profound, we overlook the most obvious 
cause, which seems to solicit our notice — and perhaps as 
often reject it as an alien or a vulgar intruder, because we 
find no niche to accommodate it, in our favorite system. 
Tinmouth, Vermont, Jan. 8th, 1828. 

Art. XI. — A Description of the Mineralogy and Geology 
of a part of Nova Scotia ; by Charles T. Jackson and 

Francis Alger. 

In laying before the public an account of the mineralogy 
and geology of this Province, it will be perhaps necessary 
to premise a few geographical remarks on the situation and 
extent of the country, and to describe the ranges of hills and 
mountains, which are to be particularly noticed in this paper. 

The peninsula of Nova Scotia is situated on the north 
eastern coast of North America, and is included within the 
forty third and forty sixth degrees of north latitude, and be- 
tween the sixty first and sixty seventh degrees of longitude 
west of the meridian of Greenwich. It is connected with 
the continent by a narrow isthmus which joins it to New 
Brunswick, and is bounded on the north by part of the gulf 
of St. Lawrence, which separates it from Prince Edward's 
Island, on the north east by the Gut of Canso, which divides 
it from Cape Breton ; on the west by the Bay of Fundy and 
New Brunswick, and on the south and south east by the 
Atlantic Ocean. The whole Province is nearly three hun- 
dred miles in length, by one hundred and fifty in breadth, and 
contains about fifteen thousand square miles of surface. 

The face of the country presents us, with some irregular- 
ity, three distinct ranges of highland, two of which have 
some claim, to the title they bear of mountains ; the other 
consists of rounded hills of inconsiderable elevation, exten- 
ding through the county of Cumberland, and the districts of 
Colchester and Pictou. The other two ranges alluded to, 
are called the south and the north Mountains ; the former 
extends through the Province in the direction east north 
east, passing through the counties of Annapolis, Kings, 

Vol. XIV.— No. 2. 13 

306 Mineralogy and Geology of a part of Nova Scotia^ 

Hants, Colchester and Pictou. This range is bounded, on 
the north and west, by the valley through which the Annapo- 
lis River winds its course for more than eighty miles, and car- 
ries with it the rich loam brought by the rivulets and torrents 
which contribute their waters to swell this beautiful river, de- 
positing it along its course, thereby forming a part of the fer- 
tile alluvium of this valley. The north Mountains however, 
contribute much more generously to the fertility of the land, 
from the peculiar rocks of which they consist, producing by 
their decay the most luxuriant soil. The north Mountains 
form the south western coast of the Province, skirting the 
Bay of Fundy, and having the Annapolis River at their south- 
ern base. They extend, with but a single interruption in 
their continuity, nearly one hundred and thirty miles, and 
present to the sea and insuperable barrier against its en- 
croachments. The direction of this range is north east and 
south west, with a gentle curve towardst he Bay of Fundy, 
to which it presents a series of lofty mural precipices, well 
adapted to resist the encroachments of its overwhelming 
tides and tumultuous waves.— This range formed by far the 
most fruitful field of our researches, and rewarded our la- 
bros by presenting the most interesting appearances, and 
many rare and beautiful specimens. 

We shall first give an account of Digby Neck, which affords 
peculiar facilities to the researches both of the mineralogist 
and geologist. 

This narrow strip of land is a continuation of the north 
Mountains from the Annapolis Gut, and extending thirty 
miles south westerly, is bounded on the north west, by the 
Bay of Fundy, on the south east by Petit Passage, which sep- 
arates it from Long Island by a narrow strait, of but from 
half to three quarters of a mile wide ; on the south by St. 
Mary's Bay, a beautiful sheet of water which separates it 
from the main body of land, by about ten miles in its extreme 
breadth. At the extremity of Digby Neck is situated Long 
Island, before referred to. This island is, in fact, of the same 
range as Digby Neck, and may be considered, geologically, 
as a part of it, the continuity being interrupted by Petit Pas- 
sage only. This Island is twelve miles in length, and in the 
same line of direction as Digby Neck. Continuing wester- 
ly, we next come to Brier's Island, which is separated from 
Long Island by Grand Passage. 

Having thus given a geographical outline of this peninsu- 
la and its adjacent Islands, we will proceed to describe, in 

Mineralogy and Geology of a part of Nova Scotia. 307 

order, the rock formations and the minerals occurring in 
them. We did not examine Briers' Island, but from a de- 
scription of it by its inhabitants, we have no doubt of its be- 
ing similar to Long Island, which is composed of columnar 
greenstone, almost to the exclusion of every other rock. 
The greenstone is somewhat irregular in its columnar struc- 
ture, not exhibiting that regular prismatic form which we 
shall hereafter notice, as occurring at some other places. It 
is of a darker color, and difficultly acted upon by the causes 
of decay, so that the Island exhibits but a comparatively 
thin soil, but sufficient to reward the labors of the husband- 
man. Few minerals of interest occur at this place ; they 
are mostly such as we shall have occasion to notice as oc- 
curring, more abundantly, in other districts of the north 
Mountain range. They are veins of jasper, chalcedony and 
a little amethyst. At low water the amygdaloid, on which 
the columnar greenstone rests, is accessible ; in which oc- 
curs chlorite, filling the cavities in this rock. Indeed this 
mineral prevails here, to the exclusion of the zeolite, which, 
as we shall hereafter show, more generally occurs. It pre- 
vails in nodules, filling the spheroidal cavities in the amygda- 
loid ; when broken, it presents laminae, of a beautiful leek 
green color, radiating from a centre, and rarely crystallized 
in low tabular crystals, often intersecting each other. It is 
soft, easily scratched with the finger nail — is somewhat unc- 
tuous to the touch and has an argillaceous odour when 
moistened — before the blow-pipe it melts into a black scoria. 
The chlorite has often been removed by external causes, 
thus imparting to the rook a vesicular appearance ; but in 
some few cases, the cavities were naturally left void, consti- 
tuting the real vesicular amygdaloidal trap. 

The veins of jasper, as they traverse the amygdaloid, be- 
come singularly altered in their character, being converted 
into a substance resembling, in appearance, imperfectly burn- 
ed bricks of potters clay. The specimens from the interior 
of the vein, where it had not been acted upon by exposure, 
presented the same appearance ; some parts were in fact per- 
fect clay stone. — As the veins entered the superincumbent 
columnar trap, they became altered in appearance, and in 
the course of a few yards, became converted into a very per- 
fect red jasper. Three or four veins of this character were 
observed, which all presented similar appearances. 

How did the columnar trap convert these veins of clay 
stone, if they may be so called, into jasper ? We leave thos 

308 Mineralogy and Geology of a part of Nova Scotia. 

to decide, who are more conversant with such phenomena, 
as we only propose to describe, and not to account for the 
appearances we observed. 

The next place we shall notice, is that part of Digby Neck 
about six miles from Petit Passage, as we proceeded in our 
examination towards Digby up the Neck, called Little River 
Settlement. There are at this place a few inhabitants ; and 
as the mouth of the river affords a convenient harbor for 
small vessels, some fishing trade is carried on from this place. 
The most remarkable geological feature observable here is 
the wonderful symmetry of form in the prisms of trap. They 
here present a lofty precipice to the sea, where the river 
empties into St. Mary's Bay, composed of regular prismatic 
columns of three, five and nine sides, frequently broken 
horizontally, and in some cases imperfectly articulated 
by their motion on each other ; thus resembling, in a strik- 
ing manner, the basaltic rocks of the Giant's Causeway 
on the coast of Ireland. These prismatic blocks are usu- 
ally two or three feet in diameter, and sometimes of 
many yards in length unbroken ; not unfrequently they 
have been dashed frOm their pedestals, and tumbled in 
confusion against each other, forming irregular Gothic arch- 
es, and by their rude forms give an additional wildness 
to the scene. — The only specimens that can be procured 
amongst these ruins are fine examples of the basalti-form 
structure of the trap, if indeed, it may not claim the rank 
of basalt ; for it differs only in respect to its not being so 
often in articulated prisms, and in exhibiting more evidently 
its component minerals, than the specimens we have seen, 
which were brought from the north of Ireland, from Scotland 
and from Germany. — The exposed surfaces of these rocks, 
from the additional oxidizement of the iron, exhibit a brown- 
ish red coating, but on recent fracture, show the internal 
structure to be fine grained, and of a homogeneous aspect, the 
Crystals of hornblende, alone being visible to the naked eye. 
This trap is very heavy, tenacious and sometimes sonorous. 
Its color varies but is generally greyish black. We did not 
notice in these columns any sensible magnetism, having at 
the time no good compass for the purpose ; but that this 
property does exist, we have sufficient evidence, from the 
influence it exerts on a surveyor's compass, in determining 
the divisionary lines of estates. This is peculiarly the case 
on Digby Neck, and in the neighborhood of Little River ; 

Mineralogy and Geology of a part of Nova Scotia. 309 

but it has perhaps hitherto been erroneously attributed to 
the existence of large deposits of magnetic iron ore, and 
has hence served to excite extravagant ideas in the inhabit- 
ants, and confer an imaginary value on many of their farms. 

So far as the local peculiarities of this trap may be con- 
sidered as forming a foundation of an opinion, it would at 
the places last mentioned, be entitled with unquestionable 
propriety to the restricted term, basalt ; but, as some of its 
internal characters may differ from the universally acknowl- 
edged basalt from the Giant's Causeway, and as the existence 
of true basalt has been denied in North America, we have 
concluded to make use of the generic name trap, leaving 
the truth of the question to be decided by more experienced 

The next place which will interest the mineralogist is 
Mink Cove, which is about four miles east from Little River. 
It is a harbour of inconsiderable depth, and presents nothing 
very peculiar in its geological features. A few interesting 
minerals, however, occur in the columnar trap, and amyg- 
daloid ; they are red, yellow and ribbon jasper, which tra- 
verse the precipices in veins, from eight inches to a foot wide, 
and running for a considerable extent through the rocks, the 
yellow jasper occupying the amygdaloid on which the co- 
lumnar trap rests, passes as it enters the more dense super- 
incumbent rock, into red jasper of fine texture, often ren- 
dered more beautiful by zones of various colors winding in 
concentric circles through the mass. They are fit subjects for 
the lapidary's wheel, and when polished, constitute ornamen- 
tal specimens. A curious mineral also occurs, imbedded in the 
amygdaloid of this place ; it consists of broad lamellas of 
quartz, disposed in parallel and intersecting plates, having 
the insterstices filled with calcareous spar, giving the speci- 
mens the appearance of alternations of siliceous and calca- 
reous sinter. Geodes of quartz also occur, enclosing crys- 
tals of transparent white chabasie, measuring nearly an 
inch in diameter. A vein of magnetic iron ore, about a foot 
wide, was also observed, but being very irregular in its course, 
and terminating abruptly, gave no promise of being wor- 
thy of exploration. 

The next considerable indentation upon this coast is San- 
dy Cove. This cove is the largest on the coast of St. Mary's 
Bay, and from its favorable situation, affords a safe harbour 
to mariners. Here, however, there is not much that is 
interesting to a geologist. The surrounding wall consists 

310 Mineralogy and Geology of a part of Nova Scotia. 

of tabular greenstone, rising from the base of the preci- 
pice in huge sheets vertically inclined, and sometimes di- 
vided into separate blocks, which lie one above another with 
their reposing surfaces perfectly flat, and without exhibiting 
that peculiar relation of contact, which is so often observed 
in distinct columnar trap. Indeed, there are other apparent 
discrepancies in regard to the internal appearance of this 
trap, when compared with that from Little River. Its tex- 
ture is coarser, and by careful inspection, the laminae of feld- 
spar may be distinguished from the other ingredients. Its 
specific gravity is also less ; and from the abundance of 
hornblende and green earth, it assumes a distinct greenish hue. 
Nearer the head of the cove, the height of the precipice 
gradually declines, and finally for its continuation, a bank of 
brecciated and amygdaloidal greenstone is substituted, con- 
taining imbedded nodules of the different zeolite minerals. 
Mention was made of this interesting spot in a former num- 
ber of the American Journal ; but as the second and more 
attentive visit to it, brought to light many new veins, af- 
fording specimens of surpassing beauty, we are authorized, 
at the expense of repetition to notice all the minerals of this 
locality, as well as many others, which have come within the 
scope of our united researches. This we deem necessary 
to mention, as it is the object of this communication to em- 
brace all the known facts and observations, which may con- 
duce to the fulfilment of its title. 

At this place occur geodes of chalcedony, invested with 
greenstone breccia, lined on the inner surface with beauti- 
ful crystals of stilbite, and sometimes with a delicate white 
filamentous substance resembling fibres of cotton. It is ap- 
parently fibrous mesotype, similar to that found by Dr. Mc- 
Culloch, in the Island of Skye. Also interesting specimens 
of quartz are found at this place, in the form of the primary ob- 
tuse rhomboid, in a few instances perfect, and more than three 
eights of an inch in diameter ; but usually the crystals are 
modified by the absence of solid angles and replacement of 
single planes, which by their extension, tend to produce the 
common six sided pyramids. Only one pyramid of each 
crystal however, is visible, as the base from which the other 
would proceed passes into massive quartz without the inter- 
vention of lateral planes. 

The amygdaloid is traversed by narrow and indistinct 
veins of specular iron ore, sometimes hollow and enclosing 

Mineralogy and Geology of a part of Nova Scotia. 3 1 1 

white transparent crystals of chabasie. Not unfrequently, 
insulated crystals of the specular ore are imbedded in lim- 
pid chalcedony, thus forming a singular variety of agate. 
Also a curious variety of quartz, consisting of minute alter- 
nating layers, so intimately blended or interfoliated with 
lamellar calcareous spar, as to appear, at first sight, homo- 
geneous ; but by the aid of acids the calcareous portion is 
readily removed, forming between the siliceous laminae, 
small cells. 

But the substance more likely to interest the mineralogist 
at this place is laumonite. This curious mineral presents 
itself, traversing the amygdaloid in veins sometimes a foot 
wide, running in vertical, inclined and zigzag directions. 
The substance of the veins, especially of the crystals, is 
more or less decayed, in situations most excluded from moist- 
ure, either from that of the sea, or that which percolates 
through the rocks from above. For invariably, in those 
places which are, at every tide submerged, unaltered speci- 
mens can be obtained. Into the cavities of these veins, the 
laumonite projects in beautiful groups of crystals, which ex- 
hibit the forms of the primary oblique rhombic prism, firmly 
implanted at one extremity, and at the other terminated by 
a single rhombic plane, inclining from one acute angle to the 
other. The crystals are colorless and transparent, and fre- 
quently an inch in length. Often the calcareous spar which 
forms the walls of a vein, is scattered over these groups in 
insulated rhomboids, considerably more obtuse than the 
primary crystals, and it. often exhibits examples of hermitropic 
combination. Interspersed also with these, are brilliant 
spangles of specular iron ore, which give much additional 
beauty to the specimens, and serve at the same time to sup- 
port the crystals of this fragile mineral. It is very singular 
that we have been unable to discover in the form of these 
crystals, the least modification by the absence of either ed- 
ges or solid angles ; while in specimens from another local- 
ity, to be mentioned hereafter, it is as difficult to discover a 
single crystal which has not the addition of secondary planes. 

The accompanying calcareous spar, like that similarly as- 
sociated from Brittany, is exceedingly phosphorescent, emit- 
ting a beautiful golden yellow colored light. But this prop- 
erty is by no means peculiar to this substance thus associated, 
for we have examined specimens from other parts of Nova 
Scotia, as well as from various localities in Europe and the 

312 Mineralogy and Geology of a part of Nova Scotia. 

United States, and find that all, without a single exception, 
possess this property, when placed on heated bodies. The 
count de Bournon observed that from Brittany to be more 
phosphorescent than any he had ever seen, but we are una- 
ble to say whether that from Nova Scotia is equal to it, not 
having a specimen of the former in our possession. 

We would mention in this place, for the benefit of those 
who may hereafter visit this locality of laumonite, as well as 
another which we shall describe, that in order to preserve 
the transparency of these crystals, they should be prepared 
with a strong protecting solution of gum Arabic, in which to 
immerse them, otherwise from the rapid efflorescence which 
this mineral undergoes, every crystal will be sacrificed, and 
the mineralogist will have the mortification of seeing the 
products of his labor crumble into dust. 

About one mile east of Sandy Cove, the specular iron ore 
appears to the mineralogist in more important veins, afford- 
ing specimens not inferior in beauty, to those from Elba. 
When not massive, it occurs in flat tabular crystals, often 
with curvilinear and striated faces, exactly resembling spe- 
cimens from volcanic countries. This ore traverses both 
greenstone and amygdaloid. Magnetic iron ore also occurs 
near it, forming veins in the same rocks, which are not, how- 
ever, of sufficient extent to justify the expense of mining. 
The best specimens are found in the soil occupying the inte- 
rior of the disintegrated veins, which appear to have been 
left naked by the previous decomposition of the amygdaloid, 
which formerly surrounded them. Indeed, the soil is abun- 
dantly mixed with large and very perfect crystals in the form 
of the primary octahedron, and also exhibits the passage of 
it in various degrees of advancement into the rhombic dode- 
cahedron, which it sometimes completes, and thus becomes 
isomorphous with the Franklinite, which generally presents 
this decrement. The crystals are sometimes imbedded in a 
friable dark bluish black colored substance, which proved to 
be black wad, or the earthy oxide of manganese. 

The widest veins of this ore which have yet been discover- 
ed in situ, are only about eight inches in diameter, and they 
appear almost uniformly to diminish in breadth, as they are 
seen at greater depths from the surface. About thirty years 
ago, it was the result of accident to discover in the soil over 
the amygdaloid, a quantity of this ore, just sufficient to pro- 
duce in the minds of speculators a desire for the establishment 

Mineralogy and Geology of apart of Nova Scotia. 313 

of iron works. Accordingly, on the supposition that there was 
ore enough, a site was selected for a smelting furnace at Sis- 
saboo River on the opposite shore of St. Mary's Bay. But 
before much was accomplished, from the unexpected decline 
of exertions on the part of one or two individuals, the project 
languished and was finally abandoned. We mention this as 
being the first attempt, however premature, to introduce the 
manufacture of iron ore into this province. 

Crossing from Sandy Cove to the Bay of Fundy, about the 
distance of one mile, we came to an indentation called Outer 
Sandy Cove, between which and the inner cove, is a small but 
extremely beautiful lake of fresh water, with a sandy bottom, 
and having a very diminutive outlet into the Bay of Fundy. 
These two coves are nearly connected by this little lake. 
The rocks at this cove present no remarkable peculiarities 
of structure. The shore is composed of immense sheets of 
greenstone of the amorphous variety, which shelve or dip 
towards the Bay of Fundy, at an angle of 10° or 15® and 
finally disappear beneath its waters. The most interesting 
features of this place are the large veins of red jasper which 
appear in parallel ridges, resembling more than any other 
thing, the brick battlements upon the inclined roofs of 
houses, and extending from the highest part of the shore 
to low water mark. These ridges stand as monuments to 
show the continual effect of a turbulent sea, which has worn 
away the rock they traverse with comparative facility, and 
left them entire, or slightly polished, as obstacles to its fur- 
ther encroachments. They contain in some places, geodes 
of quartz, amethyst, and rich specimens of agate, formed by 
narrow threads of red jasper traversing white transparent 
chalcedony, in a zigzag manner, and when polished, consti- 
tute pleasing specimens. 

Following the shore of St. Mary's Bay, eastwardly as we 
leave Sandy Cove, and examining at low water the frag- 
ments which have been detached from the precipices above 
and profusely scattered along their base at the water's edge 
agates of various kinds, possessing great beauty, were found 
in abundance. Some were of that variety called fortification 
agate, from a resemblance to military works, on the polished 
surface of the specimens. This variety is often found well 
characterized on the shore ; sometimes in small nodules 
which have been polished by attrition, and resemble the 
Scotch pebble in every respect : at others it is found in terse 
Vol. XIV.— No. 2. 14 * 

814 Mineralogy and Geology of apart of Nova Scotia, 

tabular masses, which are evidently the ruins of veins from 
the overhanging trap rocks. The specimens of this vicinity 
frequently contain the outlines of many fortifications in the 
compass of a few inches. The base of this agate is an 
opaque white chalcedony, alternating with rows of transpa- 
rent quartz and yellow jusper, the last generally constituting 
the external layer. 

Brecciated agate, composed of angular and spheroidal 
masses of red and yellow jasper, of fine texture, cemented 
by transparent and amethystine quartz, often enclosing in 
geodes, beautiful crystals of purple amethyst, which, cover- 
ing the whole interior of the cavity with protruding crystals, 
vie in beauty with any specimens brought from the banks of 
the Rhine. A large geode was found near the estate of 
Mr. Titus, on the shore of St. Mary's Bay, which, weighing 
more than forty pounds, was composed almost entirely of 
the richest purple amethyst, the mass having but a thin coat 
of fortification agate externally. On examination of the 
crystals of this geode, we found a substance of a reddish 
brown color, traversing the amethyst, in fibres, or acicular 
crystals, which, beginning at the implanted extremity of the 
crystal, shoot out into diverging scopiform and fasciculated 
groups, to the opposite extremity. On exposure to a full red 
heat, this amethyst loses its color, becomes transparent, and 
has a vitreous lustre ; the included fibres, at the same time, 
are changed in color to a dark brownish black. On fracture 
of one of the crystals of amethyst, we obtained a portion of 
the fibres, which on examination before the microscope, 
showed a reddish brown substance, with specks of a brass 
yellow, which we recognized as sulphuret of iron, the color 
being very speedily changed to brownish black by exposure 
before the blowpipe, when it became magnetic, as did the 
surrounding brown substance. We are then led to conclude 
that the yellow was iron pyrites, and the brown fibres red 
oxide of iron, which doubtless, had its origin from the decom- 
position of the former. The amethyst, traversed by this sub- 
stance, was of a much deeper color than that in which it was 
not present, and the color appeared in the immediate vicin- 
ity of the fibres ; hence we should be led to think that a 
portion of its color was derived from this mineral. The 
fibres are so minute, that we are unable to ascertain if 
manganese be present in them. 

Large masses of red jasper, weighing more than a ton 
each, lie scattered along the base of Titus 1 Hill, which rises 

Mineralogy and Geology of apart of Nova Scotia. 315 

abruptly from the shore of St. Mary's Bay. This jasper is 
frequently of a fine texture, and is banded by stripes of vari- 
ous colors. Sometimes it appears to have been made up of 
rounded fragments of red jasper, cemented by chalcedony, 
thus being converted into brecciated agate ; but this is not 
uniformly the case, for the fragments are more frequently 
encrusted with druses of quartz, which unite them to each 
other. Cavities of considerable size are found in these 
masses of jasper, having their interior surfaces lined with a 
covering of crystallized quartz, which, projecting in stalac- 
tites from the superior part of the geode, to which they are 
attached by a slender neck, hang down into the centre, hav- 
ing the dependent extremity enlarged by a radiation of crys- 
tals. Small portions of jasper are frequently included in the 
crystals, and give a beautiful appearance to the specimens. 

Amethyst is often contained in these cavities, and is of 
such beauty as to attract the attention of the people, for we 
found they had carefully preseved those specimens which 
were of prepossessing appearance. Calcareous spar, in a few 
instances, was found enclosed in the jasper — likewise chab- 
asie of a dirty white color, but the crystals were of consider- 
able dimensions, and regular form. 

On the coast of the Bay of Fundy, about six miles east of 
Sandy Cove, is an inconsiderable indentation, known by the 
name of Trout Cote. It presents but few interesting min- 
erals. The situation of the rocks, however, is picturesque. 
The columnar trap is recumbent on amygdaloid, which here 
exists in a very narrow and almost inaccessible bed at the 
base of the precipice ; the rocks have been tumbled in 
great confusion against each other, forming rude irregular 
passages under their walls. The only minerals to reward the 
collector for visiting this place, are some varieties of agate, 
which do not occur elsewhere on Digby Neck. They 
have a ground of highly translucent chalcedony of a blue 
color, with angular fragments of red jasper included. It 
is of a very fine texture, and improves much on the lapi- 
dary's wheel, and constitutes beautiful specimens of this cu- 
rious variety. The chalcedony has sometimes, imbedded in 
it, slender threads of blood red jasper, which accompanying 
several different shades of color, twisted in zigzag directions, 
and preserving its parallelism with the others, constitutes a sin- 
gular combination of fortification agate, and bloodstone in the 
same specimen — the outworks of the fort being delineated 

316 Mineralogy and Geology of apart of Nova Scotia. 

by this blood red zone. The agates occur, constituting veins 
in the columnar trap, which are seldom more than three in- 
ches wide. Chalcedony, of a very fine texture and smooth 
surface, and on recent fracture, of a perfectly pure white, 
also occurs at this place. It occurs, like the agates above 
mentioned, in veins rarely more than an inch wide, in the co- 
lumnar trap. This variety, on account of its fine texture 
and good color, appears well adapted to be worked into 
cameos and other articles of ornament. 

The next place which we visited on the coast of the Bay of 
Fundy, is a cove, which has received the singular appellation of 
Gulliver's Hole. This cove is the largest indentation which 
the seas have been able to effect, on the iron bound coast of 
the Bay of Fundy. It penetrates about three fourths of a mile 
into the land, and being narrower at its entrance, which is 
protected by massy columns of trap rocks, it affords a secure 
retreat to the small fishing vessels which frequent these 
waters, when the wind is too violent for them to ride on the 
unsheltered coast. This locality will prove of interest to the 
mineralogist, on account of a curious variety of stilbite, 
which here occurs incrusting the walls of narrow, but deep 
and perpendicular fissures in the trap. On either side of 
these chasms, the stilbite occurs in compressed laminas, pro- 
jecting horizontally, or at right angles with the rock to which 
they are attached, for the distance of about an inch. They 
are crystallized, at their free extremities, in the form of the 
right rectangular prism, terminated by pyramids, and with 
numerous other modifications. The crystals are arranged 
in a very irregular manner, crossing and intersecting each 
other at right angles, so as to produce between them, cellular 
interstices of various forms. The color of this stilbite is white, 
with a slight tinge of grey — it is glistening and somewhat 
pearly on cleavage — before the blowpipe it melts easily into 
a porous glass, without color and transparent. Large sheets. 
of this mineral are easily detached from the rock, by means 
of the hammer and chisel — they constitute remarkably fine 
specimens of this singular mineral. 

Magnetic iron ore in veins about a foot wide, associated 
with jaspery red iron ore, occurs in the trap rock at this 
place; but as the veins are exceedingly irregular in their 
course, and often terminate abruptly, little dependence can 
be placed upon them for mining. — This remark will apply 
to all the veins of iron ore which we discovered on Digby 

Mineralogy and Geology of apart of Nova Scotia. 317 

Neck ; for, although the ore is very rich, yielding as much 
as sixty per cent of iron, it is so scattered in narrow unprof- 
itable veins, that it can never do more than supply the min- 
eralogist, with specimens of the objects of his science. 

Proceeding in our researches eastwardly along the oppo- 
site shore, nothing of peculiar interest presents itself, until 
we reach nearly the extremity of St. Mary's Bay. This 
Bay is separated from Annapolis Basin, by a narrow isthmus 
on which the town of Digby is situated, and which connects 
Digby Neck with a moderately elevated range of hills to be 
mentioned more particularly when we treat of that forma- 
tion. This isthmus, which no where attains an elevation of 
more than one hundred feet, is composed almost entirely of 
sandstone without presenting, so far as our examination has 
gone, any traces of marine or other organic relics. It is 
perhaps the old red sandstone ; though we were unable to 
discover its junctions with the neigboring trap rocks, it be- 
ing no where disclosed along the shore ; and the surface, be- 
yond the reach of the tide, consists of a deep soil, which 
throws a veil over the whole formation. It is probable howev- 
er, that a junction does exist here, though at present excluded 
from observation ; but as we shall hereafter mention the se- 
cond appearance of this sandstone, in a distant section of 
the North Mountains, under circumstances of much local im- 
portance, it is perhaps unnecessary to dwell upon it. On the 
shore of St. Mary's Bay, a vertical section of this sandstone is 
presented, of about one hundred and fifty feet in height ; 
spreading its broad face to the sea, and being the natural 
barrier to buffet its violence, it has received the appropriate 
appellation of the sea-wall. It consists of the red and grey 
varieties, alternating with each other in long parallel strata, 
running nearly north and south, and gradually inclining away 
at an angle of about ten degrees, till it disappears beneath 
the surface. The strata vary much in thickness, but from 
four inches to four feet, will include the limits of their varia- 
tion. The first ten or twelve feet of the precipice, include 
uniform alternations of the grey variety alone — above this 
succeeds a beautifully variegated kind, made up with white, 
grey, and variously shaded red colored stripes, which, ri- 
sing in continually widening strata, become gradually of a 
deeper red, and finally pass, distinctly, into the red sand- 
stone, retaining this character, through the remaining super- 
position of the strata, forming the verge of the whole series. 

318 Mineralogy and Geology of apart of Nova Scotia, 

This red sandstone consists of minute grains of siliceous 
and calcareous matter, interspersed with spangles of mica. 
Attached to it are small beds of reddle, or red chalk, usually 
occupying the spaces between approximate strata, and pre- 
venting their actual contact. This variety is comparatively 
soft and more readily acted upon by external causes than 
the grey, which has a much coarser, and by no means so uni- 
form a texture. Both effervesce briskly in nitric acid, but 
the grey contains the greatest portion of the calcareous in- 
gredient. This sandstone does not contain veins of gypsum 
or limestone. In fact, the reddle was the only simple mine- 
ral which we observed in it. The entire precipice, from the 
feeble cohesion of its parts, is rapidly acted upon by the or- 
dinary causes of decay ; large masses are almost continually 
losing their hold from above, and adding new matter to the 
slope of debris which inclines from its base into the sea, but 
before being crumbled into the sand, many of these fallen 
blocks which assume a cubical or prismatic form, as they 
usually do, are advantageously employed by the inhabitants, 
who obtain them during the absence of the tide, which 
here rises to the height of thirty five feet. Since the erec- 
tion of the Annapolis Iron Works, the practical worth of 
this sandstone, as a material for supporting high tempera- 
tures, has been fully ascertained by the slight alteration it ex- 
perienced, when exposed to the most intense heat of the smel- 
ting furnace, of which it formed the boshes and part of the 

About three miles N. E. of the sea-wall at Nichols' Moun- 
tain, magnetic iron ore occurs in compact masses, imbedded 
in a deep soil, resulting from the decay of the contiguous 
trap rock. These masses generally exceeded two feet in 
diameter, having two of their opposite faces smooth, imply- 
ing that they once constituted a vein. The whole weighed 
about fifteen tons. It was conveyed to the furnace, smelted 
and found to produce with a due proportion of flux and 
charcoal, cast iron of superior quality. But on subsequent 
examination of its local situation, nothing promising a fur- 
ther supply could be discovered. The greenstone near, and 
immediately beneath it, was the brecciated variety, consisting 
of round masses formed of concentric layers, which by a 
moderate blow separate into a multitude of fragments. 
But it no where exhibited the slightest traces of the exis- 
tence of veins. It seems probable therefore, that these 

Mineralogy and Geology of apart of Nova Scotia. 31 9 

weighty masses originally formed a vein in this rock, but 
like that mentioned at Mink Cove, terminated abruptly at a 
depth, less than that to which the decomposition of the 
greenstone has extended. The structure of this ore is coarse 
granular, sometimes crystalline and columnar. It is highly 
magnetic, and some fragments possess polarity. Its specific 
gravity is very great, averaging 5. and consequently it con- 
tains about sixty five per cent, of pure and malleable iron, 
though of cast iron it yields ten or fifteen per cent, more, 
from its addition of carbon during the operation of smel- 
ting it. The masses sometimes presented beautiful druses- 
of amethyst in violet crystals, projecting from an incrusta- 
tion of chalcedony, which contains small globular masses 
of mesotype and calcareous spar. They also contain bril- 
liant druses of quartz, presenting a botryoidal stalactitic ap- 
pearance. In a few instances, the amethyst, quartz and chal 
cedony are united in one specimen, enclosing imperfect crys- 
tals of the magnetic iron ore, constituting, when polished, 
a very singular and interesting variety of brecciated agate, 
and showing the metallic concretions, deeply imbedded in 
the transparent chalcedony. 

Near this place, a small stream takes its rise from the moun- 
tains called William's Brook, which, running some distance 
south eastwardly, empties its waters into St. Mary's Bay. On 
the banks of this stream, near its source, we discovered veins 
of a radiated milk quartz in the amygdaloidal trap, coated 
externally with a thin incrustation of green earth, and having 
vacancies internally crystallized, and enclosing in some of 
the geodes, a beautiful pearly white foliated heulandite and 
stilbite often radiated, and sometimes intersected by the 
laminae of heulandite. The two minerals being thus exhibit- 
ed together in the same specimen, their distinguishing pecu- 
liarities are rendered much more obvious. Indeed, the most 
unpractised eye readily distinguishes the bright pearly lustre 
of the heulandite, from the dull greyish white reflection of 
the stilbite. In the same geode with the heulandite, occurs a 
greenish mineral, crystallized in the form of the obtuse rhom- 
boid, and possessing all the characters of chabasie, except- 
ing color. It is probably that mineral, colored by green 
earth. These masses often occupy the whole interior of the 
geodes, v and are deeply indented by the pyramids of the sur- 
rounding quartz crystals; whence we suppose it to have 
been of more recent formation, or at least of induration,, 

320 Mineralogy and Geology of a part of Nova Scotia, 

than the quartz enveloping it. Botryoidal cacholong also 
occurs, encrusting the interior of vacant cavities in veins of 
quartz. This locality will repay the mineralogical traveller 
for the trouble of a visit; and the course of the stream is a 
correct guide to the spot where specimens may be procured. 
The only place which we have not already described, wor- 
thy of a visit from the geologist, is that part of Digby Neck 
where the North Mountain range is interrupted by the Gut of 
Annapolis. This is two miles from the town of Digby. At 
this place, is situated the Light-house, which serves to guide 
navigators to the entrance of Annapolis Basin, the most ca- 
pacious and secure harbor for large vessels in Nova Scotia, 
and in which, as is observed by one of her historians, a thou- 
sand ships may ride in safety, secure from every wind. 

The site of the Light-house is on a projecting rock of co- 
lumnar trap of the most compact variety, and the numerous 
irregular crevices have been filled with chalcedony, jasper 
and agate, which, adhering firmly to the contiguous rock, 
give it additional firmness, enabling it to resist successfully 
the fury of the waves, which, in boisterous weather, dash 
completely over the precipice, and wash from its surface, 
every trace of soil or vegetation. The centres of the col- 
umns of trap appear to be more readily acted upon by the sea, 
than the parts contiguous to the chalcedonic veins, and thus 
concavities are produced, in which the spray from the sea 
slowly evaporated, leaves crystals of its saline contents, thus 
constituting natural salt pans. 

The rocks at this place are columnar trap, incumbent on 
amygdaloid, and present a surface exactly corresponding to 
that on the opposite side of the Gut, which is but half a mile 
wide, and appears as if it had been separated by violence, 
and not worn away by the action of the water. 

Passing Annapolis Gut and pursuing our investigations 
along the coast of the Bay of Fundy, our attention will first 
be directed to Chute's Cove, which is twenty miles from An- 
napolis Gut. The intermediate coast we did not examine, 
but from the information we obtained in regard to it, we are 
led to believe that it presents a line of uninterrupted precipi- 
ces of trap rocks, affording the mariner but few places of 
landing, and the coves that occur are not of sufficient mag- 
nitude to ensure protection from the sudden gales which 
spring up on this coast. 

Chute's Cove forms a wide interval in the prevailing ab- 
ruptness of the coast. Its bottom presents a great extent of 

Mineralogy and Geology of apart of Nova Scotia. 321 

surface, and on examination at low water, it appears to con- 
sist of distinct columnar greenstone, whose individual faces 
are probably the summits of long columns rising vertically 
from deep foundations. These faces, which are of course 
subject to the periodical overflow of the tide, present, 
from the action of the sea, assisted by the motion of sand 
and pebbles, shallow, basin like cavities, regularly curving 
from the centre up to the polished brim, formed by a sub- 
stance of a different nature from the bottom. This sub- 
stance, which never exceeds half an inch in thickness, is a 
quartzose cement. It entirely surrounds the columns ; pre- 
venting their immediate contact ; and from its less obvious 
marks of dimunition, it forms small projections rising above 
their surfaces, serving to protect most effectually, that portion 
nearest approaching the sides. Thus the comparatively 
greater diminution of matter towards that point is readily 
accounted for, and the formation of these basin like cavities 
would seem the natural effect of long continued exposure, 
did they not themselves prove satisfactorily what causes have 
operated in forming them. We also observed several col- 
umns beyond the reach of the sea, which exhibited these ap- 
pearances in a less striking manner, though to an extent suf- 
ficient to prove that the effects of ordinary causes have a di- 
rect tendency to produce eventually these depressions. This 
greenstone, as regards internal characters, corresponds, al- 
most precisely, with that from Little River before mentioned. 

About a mile west of this cove, among water worn masses 
which form a loose pavement descending into the sea, we 
observed several egg shaped masses of amygdaloid, exhibit- 
ing on their surfaces, small globular concretions of helio- 
trope, invested with green earth, and presenting all the inter- 
mediate shades of color, from transparent chalcedony to an 
almost opaque green. We also picked up several imperfect- 
ly polished masses of greenstone porphyry of a fine texture* 
exhibiting distinct faces of crystals of white feldspar in the 
form of a parallelogram : but we did not succeed in finding 
this rock in place. 

Leaving Chute's Cove, and proceeding about six miles 
eastwardly, we arrive at St. Croix Cove. At this place, the 
rocks resume their abruptness, and present lofty precipices of 
columnar trap, resting on amygdaloid, which abounds with 
its usual zeolites. The shape of the cavities which the 
amygdaloid presents, is quite singular, Instead of the splie- 

Vol. XIV.— No. 2. 3 5 

322 Mineralogy and Geology of apart of Nova S cotia 

roidal shape, in which they usually occur, we are here pre- 
sented with cylindrical cavities, from half an inch to two in- 
ches in diameter, and often more than a foot in length. They 
are mostly vertical or but slightly inclined, and sometimes 
branch in a curious manner. The interior of these cylin- 
ders is usually coated with a thin layer of green earth, over 
which an incrustation of beautiful crystals of heulandite is 
deposited. A considerable space is usually left void in the 
centre, and the projecting crystals are remarkably perfect, 
exhibiting many curious modifications on the primary form. 
The most common is the replacement of the solid obtuse 
angles, and the lateral acute edges by single planes, thus 
producing a hexahedral prism with dihedral summits. The 
heulandite is not always crystallized, but often entirely fills the 
tube with laminae, intersecting each other in an irregular man- 
ner, as if it had attempted crystallization in a space too lim- 
ited to allow room for the crystals to become perfect. They 
are evidently the product of one crystallization, for there are 
never concentric layers of this mineral in the tubes. These 
cylinders, studded with brilliant crystals of heulandite, con- 
stitute specimens highly interesting to the mineralogist ; but 
the form and position of the cavities may be considered val- 
uable evidence in accounting for the origin of the trap 
rocks. Our limits will not permit us to dwell on this subject 
sufficiently, to weigh the evidence against any theory, but 
we may venture to hint at the evidence which may be deri- 
ved from their form and position. If the cavities were pro- 
duced by the expansion of an elastic fluid, — the pressure 
being equal in all directions, a spherical cavity would neces- 
sarily be produced ; and this might be converted into a cyl- 
inder, either by the hardening of that portion of the rock to 
which the upper hemisphere was attached, while by a subsi- 
dence of the tenacious mass below, containing the other 
hemisphere, a cylindrical cavity or tube would be produced. 
The tubes are often bent at right angles, as if the rock had 
been subjected to an alternate irregular elevation and de- 
pression. The occurrence of native copper in a similar cav- 
ity, a few miles to the east of this place, might probably be 
adduced as evidence that the production of this rock was 
attended with heat. In the instance referred to, there was 
a crystal of green analcime attached to a filament of native 
copper, which, projecting from the rock, probably served it 
as a nucleus on which to crystallize. The crystals of heu- 
andite, &c. were doubtless deposited subsequently to the 

Mineralogy and Geology of apart of Nova Scotia. 323 

formation of the cavities, as the incrustation always received 
its impressions from the irregularities of the tube, and never 
left any, although it received an indentation from the slight- 
est prominence in the rock. The only way in which we can 
account for these cavities, on the supposition that the rocks 
were of aqueous origin, would be, to suppose the upright 
tubes to have been produced by the ascent of some elastic 
gas ; but as the cavities are soon arrested by a dense super- 
incumbent rock, and have no outlet, and at the same time 
diminish in size as they ascend, there is reason to suppose 
the cavities to have been produced by some condensible elas- 
tic fluid, as steam. Their position shews the force which 
produced them to have acted in a direction up and down, 
and their irregularities perhaps indicate the rising and fall- 
ing of the fluid mass. 

We shall take occasion hereafter to shew the relations of 
shale, red sandstone and trap, in the production of trap-tuff 
and amygdaloid, which will lead us to infer, that the vicinity 
of the trap is necessary to the formation of amygdaloid, and 
that the production of that rock was attended by heat. 

Before leaving this cove, we would mention that foliated 
heulandite occurs in veins two or three inches wide in the 
amygdaloid, and that mesotype is found abundantly in the 
soil formed by the disintegration of this rock. 

From St. Croix Cove, pursuing the coast easterly, the 
amygdaloid, crowned with columnar greenstone, continues 
and forms an abrupt precipice for five miles, where it is 
again interrupted by Martial's Cove. — The rocks at this 
place, and the ruins which the neighboring shore presents 
cannot fail to reward the labor of those who may visit this 
locality, as scarcely a week passes, without the downfall 
of some impending steep, which scatters its treasures along 
the shore, before shaded by its brink. Here the heu- 
landite is not confined to spheroidal masses, as a mere 
constituent of amygdaloid, but exists in veins sometimes 
six inches wide, extending vertically from the base of the 
precipice to its extreme verge. Some of them which have 
fallen in connexion with the immense massess of greenstone, 
exhibit broad laminae of a pearly white appearance. It is 
usually colorless and transparent, but in one or two instan- 
ces, specimens were found of a red color resembling those 
brought from Scotland and Germany. But in speaking of 
the interesting productions of this place, we should not pass 

324 Mineralogy and Geology of a part of Nova Scotia. 

over a very curious, and in fact, hitherto unknown associa- 
tion of analcime with native copper. The analcime occurs 
in the form of the primary crystal, and by the replacement 
of these planes on all its solid angles, presents the passage 
of that form into the trapezohedron. It is of a verdigris 
green color, but towards the centre of many crystals, this 
color diminishes in intensity, and in some, it entirely disap- 
pears, leaving them transparent. They also approach the 
emerald green. The copper is partially imbedded in these 
crystals, sometimes in globular concretions about the size of 
a common pin's head, and at other times in minute filaments, 
having one extremity attached to the amygdaloid, in the cav- 
ities of which they both occur. These globules are soft and 
malleable, and when scraped, possess the brilliant lustre of 
pure copper. The crystals presenting themselves under an 
aspect so new and beautiful, induced us to examine them 
more particularly in order to ascertain the nature of their 
coloring matter. As the amygdaloid contained a portion of 
green earth, at first we ascribed the color to this substance, 
as it is well known to penetrate other minerals and impart 
to them a green tinge. But as a few of these crystals were 
covered by a thin film of a green carbonate of copper, it 
seemed probable that this substance might be the occasion 
of the green stain which more uniformly pervaded them. 
In order to ascertain it, we digested the powder of a crystal 
which contained no copper mechanically united with it, in 
nitric acid and detected this metal in the solution by appro- 
priate tests. It is probable that this metal may yet be dis- 
covered at this locality in crystals occupying alone the cav- 
ities of the amygdaloid, as has been observed in a similar 
rock in one of the Faroe Isles. 

The next places of mineralogical interest, which we shall 
mention, are Hadley and Gates 1 Mountains.- — They are sit- 
uated near each other, and each of them attains the height 
of about three hundred feet, rising gradually from the Bay of 
Fundy. The summit of the former is composed of amygdaloid, 
in which nodules of chlorophoeite seems to take the place of 
the zeolites. The nodules are frequently half an inch in diam- 
eter. They are sometimes hollow, enclosing crystals of dog- 
tooth spar. Specimens of the chlorophseite when recently 
broken, are of a greenish tinge, sometimes approaching leek 
green ; it is translucent on the edges and soft, yielding to the 
nail with about the same readiness as horn silver. The frac- 

Mineralogy and Geology of apart of Nova Scotia. 325 

ture is distinctly conchoidal. On exposure to the air, the color 
changes, and the substance becomes black and opaque. 
This peculiar change is also observed in specimens, before 
being removed from the rock, even to the depth of six inch- 
es from the surface. We would observe that this substance 
from its deceptive appearance has occasioned much specu- 
lation among the inhabitants, and that a company was form- 
ed not long since, for the purpose of working it as an ore of 
copper. This mistake seems to have originated from the 
use of the mineral rod, which in Nova Scotia, as well as in 
New England, has led many an honest farmer into ruinous 

In the possession of a person, residing near this locality, we 
observed a beautiful cylinder of heulandite. It was twelve 
inches long, and one in diameter at the largest extremity. 
Had we not seen before examples of this form, we should have 
pronounced this specimen to be a stalactite, formed in the lar- 
ger cavities of the amygdaloid. It consisted of brilliant, 
transparent laminae, placed at right angles to its axis. Its sur- 
face was invested with a coating of green earth and seemed 
as it were, to have been painted artificially. It was found 
at St. Croix Cove, and obviously filled the entire space of a 
cavity corresponding with its dimensions. This being a large 
and very perfect representation of the forms under which 
this substance there occurs, we were induced to mention it. 

Gates' Mountain is also formed mostly of amygdaloid and 
the included minerals are peculiarly large and abundant. In 
obtaining specimens, the labor of digging or even of using 
a hammer is here entirely avoided ; for masses of thomsonite 
and mesotype are found abundantly scattered over the fields. 
Indeed, in some spots, the rock which has resulted from the 
decomposition of the amygdaloid, is literally filled with mas- 
ses of these minerals, from the size of a bullet to that of a 
twenty four pound ball. We shall mention these two min- 
erals from their remarkably well characterized appearance. 
The large masses of thomsonite are composed of long and 
slender crystals, radiating from opposite points of the sur- 
face, and meeting in the centre, where they unite in a very 
irregular manner, forming narrow cells in which may be ob- 
served distinct, colorless and transparent crystals in the pri- 
mary form, measuring more than an inch in length. These 
crystals are occasionally replaced on their solid angles and 
terminal edges, but the replacements are not deep. This 

326 Mineralogy and Geology of a part of Nova Scotia. 

thomsonite agrees with that from Dumbarton in Scotland 
in its chemical and physical characters. 

The mesotype is in masses of a finely radiated or plumose 
structure, and when broken, presents in the less compact 
parts, small intersecting fibres of a beautiful silky white ap- 
pearance. Its texture, near the surface, is unusually com- 
pact, breaking with a splintery fracture ; and some speci- 
mens in this respect, as well as in point of color, resemble 
the bones of fishes, for which they are sometimes mistaken 
by the inhabitants, who plough them up from the soil of 
their fields. We did not observe, in any of these specimens, 
well marked appearances of crystallization. Attached to 
the mesotype and thomsonite, are small masses of foliated 
stilbite and crystals of analcime. Several veins of mag- 
netic iron ore occur on this mountain, but they are worthless, 
in a practical view, from their narrowness and inconsiderable 

The next place which will prove interesting to the min- 
eralogist is Peter's Point. This name is given to a promon- 
tory which projecting into the Bay of Fundy, forms a shel- 
ter on the west to a small creek, into which a stream sufficient- 
ly large to carry a saw-mill, called Stronoch's Brook, dis- 
charges its waters. The geological features of this place 
are similar to those at St. Croix Cove, excepting that the cylin- 
drical cavities are here wanting, and the amygdaloid has 
been washed away from under the superincumbent columnar 
rock, which presents an overhanging precipice, threat- 
ning to crush the traveller who may venture beneath its 
frowning brink, from whose summit, large masses of rock 
detached by the frosts are almost continually falling. 

Near this Point, under the protection of an arch of co- 
lumnar trap, a deep cavity was discovered in the amygda- 
loid, which, having a narrow aperture, expanded internally 
to the diameter of six feet, in every direction. The mouth 
of this little cavern being enlarged, so as to admit of exam- 
ination, its walls were found to be thickly encrusted with 
laumonite in a remarkably fine state of preservation. Spe- 
cimens were easily detached by the hand, and were found 
to consist of successive layers of radiating crystals, which, 
in the centre of the mass, were of a fine flesh red color. 
The external surface of this crust, and the interior of cav- 
ities which frequently occur, were richly studded with trans- 
parent and colorless crystals, of great perfection and beauty. 

Mineralogy and Geology of a part of Nova Scotia. 327 

They are in the form of the oblique rhombic prism, termina- 
ted by a rhombic pJane passing from one of the acute solid 
angles to the other, and almost constantly replaced on the 
acute solid angles by a single triangular plane resting on 
the acute lateral edges ; these secondary planes are always 
small, and never obscure the primary form of the crystal. 
The cavities, in the laumonite, are often filled with water 
which serves to prevent the efflorescence of the crystals, 
which are thus preserved in an unaltered state. The sur- 
face of this mineral is frequently enriched with crystals of 
calcareous spar, exhibiting the forms of the rhomboid more 
obtuse than the primary, and the scalene triangular planed 
dodecahedron. Large and perfect crystals of apophyllite in 
the form of the square prism, generally replaced on the sol- 
id angles by single triangular planes, which are in various 
degrees of advancement, sometimes almost concealing the 
primary form are found at this place. This mineral agrees 
perfectly with specimens in our possession, which were from 
standard localities in Europe. The crystals are eminently ax- 
otomous, and this cleavage is so easily obtained, that it is with 
great difficulty the crystals can be preserved entire. The 
cleavages parallel to the sides of the right square prism are ea- 
sily obtained, but the natural joints are not so open as in the 
direction of the terminal plane. It agrees likewise in chemi- 
cal characters with the apophyllite from the Bannat ; hence 
there can be no doubt of its identity with that species. 

This cavern is the first place in Nova Scotia, which fur- 
nished us with this rare mineral, and as we did not exhaust 
it, future explorers may obtain a rich reward, for the trouble 
of searching for this locality. 

We shall next describe French Cross Cove, which is about 
twelve miles from Peter's Point. At this place, the amyg- 
daloid and columnar greenstone form together a precipice ri- 
sing perpendicularly, to the height of three hundred feet, and 
exceeding in elevation any other we have yet noticed. The 
entire front of this precipice can be examined only at low 
water, when it presents four large parallel beds distinctly 
separated from each other. The lowest is a reddish amyg- 
daloid, largely impregnated with spheroidal zeolites ; the 
next is an amygdaloid of the common appearance, and con- 
tains but few minerals, although it presents many cavities 
unoccupied. The third layer is rarely vescicular, and seems 
in fact to pass into amorphous greenstone. The last is com- 

328 Mineralogy and Geology of a part of Nova Scotia. 

posed of tabular and columnar greenstone rising in irregular 
columns to the top of the precipice. The stratified disposition 
of these rocks, we believe, is an uncommon occurrence. How 
far it continues we are unable to say, as further progress along 
the coast was impracticable. Nor did the tide allow us time 
to examine this coast so attentively as we desired, or it is 
probable we should have discovered the line of junction be- 
tween the greenstone and the sandstone, on which, doubt- 
less, the whole precipice is incumbent. But as few masses 
of sandstone were observed lying on the beach, it is proba- 
ble this junction is visible only at very , low tides. Dr. 
M'Culloch has mentioned an appearance similar to this, in 
the Island of Staffa ; but there the precipice consisted most- 
ly of columnar basalt, and the three beds composing it did 
not exhibit that distinct relation of contact which distin- 
guishes the one we have mentioned. (Trans. Geol. Soc. 
vol. II.) The amygdaloid near this precipice furnishes good 
specimens of laumonite and mesotype ; but the most abund- 
ant mineral it contains is heulandite, which, from the beauty 
of its crystals, we shall here describe. It occupies the inte- 
rior of veins of quartz, and is sometimes found lining the 
surfaces of botryoidal chalcedony and geodiferous quartz. 
The crystals are in the form of the right oblique angled 
prism, with the obtuse solid angles replaced by triangular 
planes, and the acute edges are also replaced by one plane, 
and the crystals thus pass into the hexahedral prism. They 
are colorless and transparent. On cleavage parallel to the 
terminal plane of the prism, the lamina? present the brilliant 
pearly white appearance characteristic of this species. The 
lateral planes often present a remarkable vitreous aspect. 
None of the heulandite however, from this locality possesses 
the red color peculiar to that brought from the Tyrol. Spe- 
cimens of it are frequently interspersed with stilbite in pro- 
jecting bundles of crystals, which well show the characteris- 
tic difference between the two minerals. Analcime of a 
reddish color is also associated with it, and is probably that 
variety called sarcolite. 

No further examination was made of this coast until we 
arrived at Cape Split. This bold promontory, terminating 
the north eastward limit of the north mountain range, pro- 
jects into the Bay of Fundy, and the extremity "of the cape 
having been detached from the main land, probably from the 
undermining of the amygdaloid by the tumultuous waves, 

Mineralogy and Geology of a part of Nova Scotia. 329 

which caused the weighty mass to fall from the contiguous rocks 
into the sea beneath, leaving a wide chasm through which the 
tides form a rapid and dangerous " race-way.'" The name of 
this cape doubtless originated from an opinion of its having 
been thus separated from the adjacent precipice, an event 
which occurred before the memory of the oldest inhabitants 
of the country. This cape forms the southern boundary of 
a strait called by the inhabitants " the gut," which connects 
the waters of the Bay of Fundy with the Basin of Mines. 
It presents a lofty mural precipice extending southward, and 
gradually increasing in height, till it finally reaches the eleva- 
tion of nearly five hundred feet above the level of the sea at 
Cape Blomidon, which is fifteen miles from Cape Split. 
The intervening coast is constituted of regular columns of 
trap, resting on, and alternating with amygdaloid which 
abounds with analcime, transparent and colorless, but some- 
times it is of an apple green color internally, and invested 
with an opaque white crust on the surface. Heulandite here 
occurs in crystals of uncommon size, and is associated with 
calcareous spar in rhomboids, and with stilbite and apophyllite, 
the last in small tabular crystals scattered over the surface of 
the stilbite. Accompanying the analcime we found a mine- 
ral resembling that variety of mesotype, called needlestone. 
It occurs in tetrahedral prisms terminated by low pyramids, 
formed by four triangular planes resting on the terminal 
edges. One of the terminal planes is often extended at the 
expense of the others, which it sometimes nearly obliterates. 
This mineral occurs in groups of crystals, radiating from a 
centre which is sufficiently compact to yield a splintery frac- 
ture, and is white like ivory. The crystals when perfect are 
transparent and colorless, and have a remarkable vitreous 
lustre. They are sufficiently hard to scratch glass, and are 
brittle. The needlestone fills cavities in the amygdaloid and 
is always formed on the surface of the analcime, which it 
never penetrates, but receives an impression from the crys- 
tals of that mineral. The geodes in the quartz at this place 
are often filled with amethystine crystals, forming successive 
layers, and are externally incrusted with cacholong. 

Hornstone, masses of agate, &c. occur scattered among 
the ruins of the trap rocks, which become entirely inacces- 
sible as we approach Cape Blomidon. This cape forms an 
abrupt termination of the north mountains, or as they are 
called in this district, the Cornwallis Mountains, on the east. 
This cape presents us with the outcropping of the sandstone 

Vol. XIV.— No. 2, 16 

330 -4. Theory of Fluxions. 

which here gives support to the trap rocks, and constitutes 
the chief part of the precipice, being more than three hun- 
dred feet high, and having the columnar trap resting upon 
and scarcely attaining the elevation of a hundred feet above 
it. The sandstone forms a projection beyond the trap which 
is called by the inhabitants of the county " the offset." 
This rock is stratified, and dipping at an angle of ten or 
fifteen degrees, passes under the trap. It runs in the direc- 
tion of the north mountains, which it probably supports 
through their whole extent, as we discovered it in several 
places along their declivity, as represented on the map. It 
does not include any organic remains at this place, nor 
veins of gypsum. At Finney's mills in the township of Wil- 
mot it contains a bed of calcareous breccia, including no- 
dules of hornstone, and small masses of radiated gray oxide 
of manganese. The sandstone at this place is highly cal- 
ciferous. This rock never distinctly appears on the coast of 
the Bay of Fundy, although from the appearance of trap- 
tuff containing fragments of it, we should be led to consider 
it as not far beneath the accessible base of the precipice at 
French Cross Cove. We have now finished our description 
of the north mountains, which comprise the whole district 
of the trap rocks in Nova Scotia, excepting the extremities 
of the capes on the opposite side of the Basin of Mines 
which remain to be noticed. 

(To be continued.) 

Art. XII. — A Theory of Fluxions* ; by Elizur Wright. 
Sec. I. The nature of Fluxions. 
The design of fluxions is to investigate the relations of 
quantities that increase or decrease by degrees that are less 
than any assignable one, that is, where the alteration of mag- 
nitude is effected by one continued increment or decrement. 
To illustrate the nature of fluxions by geometrical quanti- 
ng- I- 
ties, let us suppose that a a 5 .9 point, moving 

from A, generates the line AB=.r, this line is called a fluent. 
Now if the point is conceived to move still onward, for a giv- 
en time, with the same degree of velocity, which it had at B, 
it generates the line BC=^*, called the fluxion. 

* Communicated by the author, to the Connecticut Academy of Arts and 
Sciences, and published from their papers. 

A Theory of Fluxions. 


Fig. 2. 

In the triangle CED, sup- 
pose the generating line AB, 
variable in length, to move 
from C to D, the area gen- 
erated by this motion is term- 
j ed the fluent. If the gener- 

.U i& ating line should still flow 

I, the magnitude it had at the moment in which the 
fluent CED is completed, the rectangle Ea&D, generated by 
this motion, is called the fluxion. 

Fig- 3 - . cl ■ x u 

We may imagine a superficies to be 
xy '"":" generated thus: let the dimension of 

• length be represented by x, Fig. 3, and 
that of breadth by y ; let these two quan- 
tities be supposed to commence their 
existence and motion together, at the cor- 
ner A, and let them so proceed in their 
motion, as to preserve the intended pro- 
portion between them. When they ar- 
rive at the situation CD, DB, the fluent 
CDBA equal to xy is generated. Con- 
ceive the lines x and y to move still on- 
ward with the same motion they had at the instant when the 
fluent was completed, for any assigned time, great or small; 
and they will generate the parallelograms yx' and xy, termed 
the fluxion. When the length and breadth are equal, the 
figure becomes a square, the fluent xx being represented by 
CDBA, and the fluxion by the two equal parallelograms xx' 
-\-xx', or *2xx\ 

Again we may conceive a 
solid to be generated in the 
following manner. Let x be 
the variable quantity rep- 
resenting the dimension of 
length, y that of breadth, 
and z that of thickness. Let 
each of these be supposed to 
commence its existence and 
motion at O, and let each 
dimension increase in such a 
manner as to preserve the in- 
tended proportion between 
the lines x, y, z. The lines 
x and y, by their motion, 

■ it tA-'tAj • 

C D 
A x B 

XX' i 
X' \ 

332 A Theory of Fluxions. 

generate the superficies xy. Let this superficies be conceiv- 
ed to move from the point, at which it commenced its exis- 
tence, downward, until the solid intended to be generated is 
completed: at that instant xy becomes an invariable quan- 
tity, and bounds the solid at the bottom. Conceive the point 
generating the line z to move yet onward, carrying along 
with it the superficies xy, the result will be xyz-, the first 
term of the fluxion. Proceeding in like manner, xz repre- 
sents the superficies that bounds the side opposite to the com- 
mencing point, and xzy will be the second term of the flux- 
ion. Also yz represents the superficies, that bounds the end, 
opposite to the commencing point ; this multiplied by x', the 
fluxion of the length will be yzx', the remaining term. Col- 
lecting the three terms together, xyz'-\-xzy-\-yzx' is the 
fluxion of a solid, whose dimensions are expressed by the 
product xyz. Corresponding to these three terms, the fluent 
consists of three pyramids. The first is a pyramid, whose 
apex lies at the corner at which the solid originated, and 
whose base is at the bottom of the solid : the second has its 
apex at the same place, and base at the opposite side : the 
third, its apex at the same place, and base at the opposite 
end. When the three variable quantities become equal to 
each other, the solid becomes a cube, and the fluxional ex- 
pression is x 2 x' -\-x 2 x- -\-x 2 x'=3x 2 x\ But, inasmuch as the 
philosophical idea of motion is not essential to the method, 
and is introduced merely for the purpose of illustration, we 
may conceive quantities of the first, second, third, fourth 
powers, and of any power whatever, to be generated in a 
manner somewhat analogous to those which are geometrical, 
that is, by passing successively through every assignable 
magnitude. Here we proceed in a manner purely mathe- 
matical, for we may suppose a quantity to assume any mag- 
nitude, at pleasure, out of the endless variety of magnitudes, 
contained within the limits of the greatest and the least. 

By attending to the manner in which fluxions are obtain- 
ed, the following things will be evident. 1. That each of 
the variable quantities, in its turn, after the generation of the 
quantity, termed the fluent, is completed, flows still onward 
for a given interval of time, producing, by an uniform motion, 
a line of a finite length ; which may be termed the fluxional 
base. 2. That all the other variable quantities, at the instant 
in which the fluent is completed, become invariable, and ac- 
company the point producing the fluxional base, as it moves 

A Theory of Fluxions. 333 

inward ; and may be termed the jluxional coefficient. 3. 
That, in a complete fiuxional expression, there are as many 
terms as there are variable quantities, that is, in yx there are 
two, yx'-\-xy', in xyz three, xyz'-\-xzy-\-yzx\ In the square 
two, xx--\-xx'\ in the cube three, x 2 x^ -\-x 3 x' -\-x 2 x-=3x 2 x- ; 
and in the biquadrate four, x s x'-\-x 5 X'+x 2 x--[-x s x , =4x :i x', 
and so on. Hence may be derived rules for assigning the 
fluxions to fluents, which is called the direct method of flux- 
ions. But cases exist, in which some of the terms are want- 
ing, among which is the fluxion of the area in the triangle 
and curvilineal figures, the formula of which is yx' ; and the 
fluxion of the solid content in the cone and pyramid, which, 
although they have three dimensions, have but one term 
ax 2 x' ; the fluxional base being the fluxion of the height, and 
the fluxional coefficient ax 2 , the generating superficies. To 
quantities of this kind, fluxions may be assigned, by consid- 
ering the manner in which they increase, and setting down 
their fluxions, instead of their increments. 

In assigning the magnitude of fluxions, mathematicians 
are not restricted to any particular limits. But although the 
fluxional base x' is an indeterminate quantity, and may have 
any assignable magnitude, great, or small ; yet when it is 
one fixed, all the fluxional bases^ which belong to the same 
expression, are determined by it : for all the fluxions, that 
enter into the same equation, must be understood to be pro- 
duced contemporaneously. 

Sec. 2. Some principles relating to Fluxions. 

Prin. I. If a quantity, varying by insensible degrees ac- 
cording to the laws of continuity, pass from one state of mag- 
nitude to another ; it must successively have all the intermedi- 
ate degrees of magnitude from the least to the greatest. 

Prin. II. No portion of a curve can be assigned so small, 
but there may be one still smaller. This follows from the 
infinite divisibility of quantities. 

Prin. III. No portion of a curve can be taken so small as 
to become a straight line. 

For from Prin. II, no portion of a curve can be taken so 
small, but one can be taken still smaller, and therefore the 
portion taken can be divided into two parts ; and if divided 
into two parts, from the nature of a curve their directions 


A Theory of Fluxions. 

are different, and therefore not a straight line. Hence a cir- 
cle cannot be a polygon of an infinite number of sides. 

Fig. 4. 

Prin. IV. The fluxion GnKE is not an 
^elementary part of the fluent AKL ; that 
is, the fluent AKL is not compounded of 
any number of any such small spaces as 
GnKE whatever. For, however small the 
curvilineal space GLKE may have been 
made by repeated divisions, the fluxion 
GnKE still differs from it by the triangle 
GLn ; and, notwithstanding we may con- 
tinue to subdivide it, there will always re- 
Bmain the triangular space ILa, by which 
the fluxion differs from an elementary part. 

Prin. V. If the difference between two quantities, contin- 
ually approaching towards each other, becomes less than 
any assignable quantity, those two quantities are then equal. 

For if it be said that they are unequal, let their difference 
be represented by D, then if the approximation be continued, 
their difference will, at last, become less than D, and so D 
is not their difference, which is absurd. Therefore the pro- 
position advanced is true. 

Prin. VI. When the difference between any two quantities 
is less than any assignable quantity, the one may be taken 
for the other. 

Sec. 3. The grounds of Fluxions. 

Every variable quantity, which occurs in the process of a 
mathematical calculation, may be considered as an isolated 
term in a series of fluents, that may be conceived to arise, 
when that variable quantity is expanded. 

A Theory of Fluxions. 


1. Draw the circles ABCD, EFGH, IKLM, NOPQ, and 
from the points, where the radius RS intersects the circles, 
draw the ordinates Ra, Tn, Vm, Wr, and ARa, ETw, IVm, 
N Wr, will be a series of fluents. Suppose the fluents that 
are taken to be IVm, and NWr. Put the diameter WX=«, 

VZ=w, the abscissa Nr=x ; then Wr=(ax — x 2 ) 2 , hn= 
— ,rw=x',ms = — , Vm=-(ax — x 2 ) 2 . Hence the fluxion 

Wwr=WrXr=(M-x 2 )V=a 2 i 2 r- - — -— , &c, and 

2a 2 

the fluxion Vxsm=Vm X _=_(«»- x 2 ) 2 x> — 

a a 2 


fl j 



, &c. 

336 A Theory of Fluxions. 

11 S_ 

The fluent NWr=?^l -JLl -, &c.,and the fluent iYm 
3 i 

5a 2 

1 5. 

O-J-l 2 ft 2 t\-\ 2 <y* 2 

= — — , &c. If the fluents taken are proportion- 

3a% 5a% 

11 -L 

al to their corresponding fluxions, we have, a 3 L — - : 

3 bai 

•L L 1 * £ 

< 2,n 2 x 2 n 2 x 2 . . i \ x 2 x* n z x^x' n 2 x 2 x' 

3a§~ ~5af ' ' <2a\ ' a% 2af 

Now by multiplying we have the product of the extremes 
equal to the product of the means, that is, 

2n 2 x 2 x* 8n 2 x 3 x", n 2 x i x' _J2n 2 x 2 x' 8n 2 x 3 x* n 2 x 4 x* 

3a 15a 2 10a 3 3a 15ft 2 10ft 3 ' 

Whence it is evident, that proportional fluents have their 
fluxions in the same ratio with themselves. 

4. In the variable quantity ax — x 2 , let the value of x pass 
through every assignable magnitude from to ft, given one ; 
and let the fluents taken be ax — a: 2 , A ax — Ax 2 , B ax — Bx 2 , 
Cax—Cx 2 ; these will constitute a series of fluents, which 
are proportional to their fluxions. For, selecting any two 
fluents as A ax — Ax 2 , and Cftx — Cx 2 , their corresponding 
fluxions are Aax — 2Axx% and Cax' — 2Cxx\ Suppose that 
Aax -Ax 2 : Cax — Cx 2 ::Aax*-2Axx- : Cax- — 2Cxx\ By 
multiplying, we obtain the identical equation, ACa 2 xx* — 
3ACax 2 x-+2ACx 3 x-=ACa 2 xx--3ACax 2 x-+2ACx 3 x-,that 
is, the product of the extremes is equal to the product of the 

By a series or set of fluents or fluxions is to be understood 
those that are in geometrical proportion, for it may be re- 
marked " that two fluents cannot be of the same set, unless 
they are of a nature to be compared with each other, that is, 
the one must be a multiple of the other by a whole number, 
or a fraction. And this multiple of the fluent, being con- 
stant, will always be a multiple of the corresponding fluxion : 
therefore the fluxion will vary as the fluent. Generally, x n : 
nx n ~ 1 x".'.2y n : 2ny n ~ 1 y. If y=ax, thenx" : wx n_1 x*: :2(a"x n ) 
: 2w(a n x"~ 1 )x- Multiplying the extremes and means, In 
(a"x 2 ' l-1 )x•=2?^(a n x 2 ' l_1 )x\ ,1 Hence we derive the two fol- 

A Theory of Fluxions. 337 

lowing theorems. Th. I. Any two terms in a series of flu- 
ents, will have their corresponding fluxions in the same ratio 
with themselves. Th. II. Any two terms in a series of flux- 
ions, will have their corresponding fluents in the same ratio 
with those fluxions. These two theorems lay the founda- 
tion upon which the whole doctrine of fluxions is built. 

Sec. 4. In the series of fluents, Fig. 5, take IVm the fluent 
sought, together with any one of the remaining terms, as 
N Wr, then from what has been said concerning the grounds 
of fluxions, it appears, that these fluents and their corres- 
ponding fluxions, are in the same ratio, that is, Wuwr : NWr 
; '.Vxsm : IVm. For the purpose of illustration, admit that 
the second term NWr, is by some means obtained, and that 

13. J. 

it is — — — - — — , &c. The first and third terms can 
3 ba\ 

readily be had ; for, from the nature of fluxions, Wuwr— 


WrX#*= a 2 x 2 x' — — , &c, and Vxsm=YmX n — = 

1 5. 

n x — — , &c. Now the product of the second 

«! 2af 

j A f j x • 2n 2 x 2 x' 8n 2 x 3 x' , n 2 x l x' , . , , . 

and third term is — + , which being 

3a 15a 2 10a 3 s 

3 5. 

divided by the first term, the result is n x __ w x . £_ 

3af 5«f 

=IVm the fluent sought. Hence if any easy method of ob» 
taining the second term can be had, the object will be at- 
tained : but here a difficulty is presented, which in the ordi- 
nary method of getting the last term of four proportional 
quantities, would be insurmountable. This property, then, 
consisting in the identity of ratios in fluxions and their flu- 
ents, would have been wholly useless, had it not been far a 
remarkable peculiarity in these proportional quantities. It 
is this, that fluxions and their fluents mutually arise, and as 
it were, grow out of each other ; that is, a fluent can be made 
out from certain known parts of its fluxion, and converselv, 
by means of a few rules, embracing what is called the direct 
and inverse method of fluxions. To illustrate the manner in 
which this is done, let the four terms of the proportion be 
Vol. XIV.— No. 2. 1.7 

338 A Theory of Fluxions. 

A : B: :C : D, and inversely, B : A: :D : C, and let the ra- 
tio be r, and -. If, instead of multiplying the third term by 

the second, and dividing this product by the first term, we 
multiply the third term by the ratio, the result will be the 

same, that is, Cr=D, and — =C. From the nature of an 


algebraic expression, the ratio here is always given, and in 
the process, preserved distinct from the other part of the 
term. Hence, in order to obtain the fourth term, it is ne- 
cessary only to multiply the third term by the ratio. The 

formula for the ratio in the direct method of fluxions is — ? 

n representing either a whole number, a fraction, or a mixed 
number ; and either a positive, or negative quantity. In the 

inverse method of fluxions, the ratio is For ax n X — = 

nx' x 

— X 

nax n ~ l x',a.ndnax n 'rrX — ==ax". 

Scholium. — From the foregoing investigation it is manifest, 
that, whatever the source may be from which fluxions ema- 
nated, they are nothing more than certain artificial propor- 
tional quantities, of a finite magnitude, by the help of which 
their corresponding fluents may be found. Thus a luminous 
view of this abstruse branch of the Mathematics is presented, 
depending on the plain, familiar, and acknowledged princi- 
ple of the identity of ratios. This principle, as I have been 
informed, has, in a very concise manner, been touched upon 
by Dealtry ;* and it appears to me to develope the real na- 
ture of fluxions. It is important to notice distinctly, that it 
avoids the seeming error attending the Differential Calculus, 
arising from the rejection of the infinitely small quantity, 
which is the difference between the increment and the differ- 
ential — the Gordian knot, which has long perplexed the most 
eminent Mathematicians. 

Sec. 5. By describing polygons in the circle, and by con- 
tinual bisections of the arcs, subtending the sides of the pol- 

* Although Dealtry has alluded to this proportion, between the fluents and 
fluxions, yet, (in justice to the author of this memoir, it ought to be stated,) he 
overlooked the object'for which it is now introduced. 

A Theory of Fluxions. 


ygons, it is proved that circ. NOPQ,: circ. IKLM: :WX 2 : 
VZ 2 . 

That this is the peculiar proportion, that fluents bear to 
their fluxions, can be made to appear in the following man- 
ner, in Fig. 5. The fluent NWr ": IVra! :WX 2 : VZ 2 , be- 
cause these are similar portions of similar figures, and are as 
the squares of their homologous sides, and in circles as 
squares of their diameters. Hence NOPQ, : IKLM : WX 2 

: VZ 2 : : fluent NWr : fluent IVm'. : fluxion (ax - x 2 )^ x - : 

n 2 — 

fluxion - T .(ax — x 2 ) 2 x\ Although the principle of fluxions 
a 2 

was thus touched upon, it was (as it were) unwittingly. None 
of the antients, as it seems, understood its nature, and ex- 
tent ; but they proceeded but little farther than to investi- 
gate some of the properties of the conic sections. 

Demonstration of the identity of ratios in fluents and their 


Fig. 6. 

Let AHNB be any 
K curve whatever, and sup- 
pose DFME to be anoth- 
er, drawn parallel to it, 
and consequently similar. 
u Draw the lines CM, CF 
R from the determined point 
C to the curve DFME, and 
-6 from the points, where 
these lines intersect the 
curves, draw the ordinates 
NT, MX, HO, FP. Now, 
if the line CQ, be drawn 
from C to any proposed 
CJ point Q in the arc FM, and 
ordinates be drawn from the points of intersection ; the parts, 
into which the curvilineal spaces HNTO, FMXP are divi- 
ded, are proportional; that is, WNTY : QMXS>:HWYO 
: FQSP. 

» E 


340 A Theory of Fluxions. 


From the similarity of figures, CW : CQ: :WR : QU: : 
NL : MK::WR-NL : QU-MK(5.E.i9.): :Wm : Qe:: 
HI :FG::HI-WR:FG-QU::H?i:FA. Also WY : 
QS::Wm : Qe::HO : FP::Hw : FA. HenceWY-Wm: 
QS • Qe : : HO • H^ : FP • FA (6. E. C.) : : WmT Y : QeXS : : 

Secondly, bisect the arcs NW, WH, and MQ, QF, and 
suppose parallelograms to be drawn corresponding to the 
bisections. Let the parallelograms within the arc NW be 
represented by A, B ; those within the arc WH by C, D ; 
those within the arc MQ. by N, O; and those within the Q,F 
by P, Q,. Then proceeding as before we obtain A : N; :B 

: 0::C : P::D : Q. Hence A : N::A+B :N+0::C+ 

D : p.f Q (5. E. 12.) : : the polygon within the arc NW : the 
polygon within the arc Q,M : 3 the polygon within the arc 
HW J the polygon within the Q,F. 

For the same reason, if ever so many polygons be formed 
by bisecting the arcs, they will be in the same constant ratio, 
and at the same time will converge towards the curvilineal 
spaces WNTY, QMXS, HWYO, FQSP, as their limits. 
When the number of bisections is greater than any assigna- 
ble number, the series is supposed to have run through an 
infinite number of terms ; and the little spaces, lying between 
the polygons and the curves, are exhausted. On this account 
the process is called the method of exhaustions. The peri- 
meters of the polygons have now undergone a change into 
curves, and the polygons become the curvilineal spaces. 
Hence WNTY : QMXS : ■ HWYO : FQSP. Q. E. D. 

To investigate the fluxions of variable quantities, let the 
similar curvilineal spaces AHNBC, DFMEC, (Fig. 6,) be 
divided into any proposed number of parts NBCT=a, 
HNTO=6, &c, and MECX=n, FMXP=o, &c, by draw- 
ing the lines CM, CF, &c, from the point C to the curve 
DFME, and drawing the ordinates NT, MX, HO, FP, from 
the points where the lines CM, CF, &c, intersect the curves. 
Then, by the foregoing lemma these curvilineal spaces are 
proportional, that is, a I n \ 3 6 : o \ '. c i p : 3 , &c. Hence a : 
n::a+ & +c -i-,&c. : w+o+p-f,&c. : : AHNBC ; DFMEC. 
(5. E. 12.) 

A Theory of Fluxions. 


Fig. 8. 

Fig. 7. 

AT. X' If C 


2. From the before mentioned parts, select the pair NBCT, 
MECX, the part NBCT being removed to prevent the figure 
from being too much crowded. Draw the line CM' from C, 
to the middle of the arc ME, and divide NBCT and MECX 
by drawing the ordinates NT, M'X', from the points of in- 
tersection of CM' with the curves. Let the division N'BCT 
be represented by a', and M'ECX' by ri. Proceeding in the 
same manner, subdivide N'BCT' bv the line N"T", and 
M'ECX' by the line M"X",and let N"BCT"=a", and M'ECX" 
=n", and so on. By the foregoing lemma, these divisions 
form a series of proportional quantities, that is, 

a \nl\d iriy.a" : n"\\a!" : n"'::,&c. 

3. Let the parallelograms NnCT, N'n'CT, NV'CT", &c, 
be represented by A, A', A", &c, and the parallelograms 
MroCX, MWCX, M'W'CX;', &c, by N, N', N", &c., and they 
will form the following series of proportional quantities, 

A : N: :A' : N': :A" : N": :A"' : N'": :, &c. 

4. As we proceed in these two series, the differences NBrc, 
N'Bn', N"Bn", &c, and MEw, M'Em', M"Em", &c, between 
the curvilineal spaces and the rectilineal ones continually 
lessen, and the curvilineal expressions of the antecedents 
approach towards the rectangular expressions of them, and 
both converge towards the ordinate BC, as their limit ; and 
in like manner the consequents converge towards the ordi- 
nate EC, as their limit. Here, although we cannot arrive at 
the nascent and evanescent terms themselves, yet we can 
ascertain the relation between the prime and ultimate ratios ; 
for suppose the divisions are continued, until these differen- 

342 A Theory of Fluxions. 

ces are less than any assignable quantities ; then upon the 
principle of exhaustions the evanescent antecedent becomes 
in effect equal to the nascent one, likewise the evanescent 
and nascent consequents become equal, and according to 
Prin. V., the one may be taken for the other. The equality 
of these terms forms the connecting link, by which the two 
infinite series are united, so as to become one series, having 
the same ratio throughout. To exemplify this in symbols, 
a J n : : a' t n' : '. a" J n" '. '. , &c in infinitum evanes- 
cent of a : evanescent of n : ; nascent of A : nascent of N. 
Nascent of A : nascent of N : : , &c in infinitum .... 

A"' : N'"::A" : N"::A' : N'::A : N. 

Hence a : n '. \ a : n 1 : : a" : n" : : , &c in inf. .... A" : 

N"::A' : N'::A : N. 

It hence appears, that the series, expressed in terms of 
the curvilineal spaces, is identified with the series, expressed 
in terms of the rectilineal spaces. And, since any antece- 
dent and its consequent may be taken at pleasure, to ex- 
press the ratio, let A ! N be taken, and it will be, the fluent 
AHN8C : the fluent DFMEC: \a : n\ :A : N: : the fluxion 
BxzC : the fluxion Eun/C: \yx' : myx: 

a. e. d. 

Here, without any error whatever, a transition is made 
from the ratio a : n, expressed in terms of the curvilineal 
spaces, to the ratio A : N, expressed in terms of the rectili- 
neal spaces. 

It will readily be perceived, that the foregoing proportion 
illustrates the important analytical fact, that the ratio of two 
infinite series, or rather, of the incommensurable quantities, 
which they are designed to express, can be had in finite 
terms ; although, taken separately, their exact sum or meas- 
urement, cannot be obtained. 

To represent this in symbols, let the division NBCT=a = 
B-f B'+B"+B'" 4- , &c, in infinitum, (Fig. 6.) and the divis- 
ion MECH=»=C+C'+ C"-fC"'+, &c, in infinitum, then, 

B+B'+B 1 +B'"+, &c in inf. = A 

C+C'+C H 4-C , "+,&c .in inf. N' 

Here it will be well to notice, that although the two vari- 
able quantities, which are compared in the foregoing demon- 
stration, are, even at first, so taken, that they are always ac- 
curately in the same ratio ; yet it is unknown, until we ar- 
rive at what Sir Isaac Newton terms the ultimate ratio, 

A Theory of Fluxions. 343 

which " is neither before those quantities cease to move, nor 
after ; but at the very instant in which they arrive at their 
last place, and the motion ceases. 1 ' (See Newton's Princip. 
Lem. XL) 

Corresponding with these ideas of the illustrious inventor 
of fluxions, variable or flowing quantities are considered, 
first, as in the act of arising into existence ; quantities in this 
incipient state are called nascent quantities : secondly, as in 
the act of disappearing or ceasing to be ; in this vanishing 
state they are called evanescent quantities. Mathematicians 
have taken different views of nascent and evanescent quan- 
tities. Whilst some have considered them as quantities at 
which we can arrive, and which have a real existence ; oth- 
ers have held them to be non-entities, and have complained 
of Sir Isaac Newton, for having first supposed certain quan- 
tities to exist, having certain properties and relations, and 
these properties and relations still to remain, after the quan- 
tities themselves have vanished. Whilst some have held, 
that they were real quantities, but small beyond the reach of 
imagination ; others, with Cavalerius, have supposed them 
to be entirely divested of magnitude, and have called them 
indivisibles. In this diversity of opinions, it will be well to 
attend to their nature, and to the station which they hold in 
the system of mathematical quantities. Here it must be 
considered, that we can never arrive at quantities, which are 
less than any assignable ones, as is evidently the case with 
nascent and evanescent quantities. They are therefore in- 
finitely small. And of an infinite quantity, we can form only 
a negative idea. To obtain that quantity, which is less than 
any assignable one, is contradictory ; to overtake that, which 
recedes as fast as it is pursued, is impossible. Therefore 
whenever quantities are said to be infinitely great, or infinite- 
ly small, they must be considered as moveable, ever retreat- 
ing, unassignable quantities ; for a positive infinitive quanti- 
ty is beyond the grasp of any created being. But, notwith- 
standing we can form no positive idea of infinite quantities "; 
yet, in some cases, we can have a clear conception of cer- 
tain relations, which belong to them. For instance, let two 
cylinders, whose bases are to each other as 2 : 1, be extend- 
ed to any assignable equal lengths, the proportion will al- 
ways be as 2:1. Now suppose this length to be greater 
than any assignable one, that is, let no bounds be set to their 
length, then, since it cannot be affirmed that the length of 

344 A Theory of Fluxions. 

the one is less than the length of the other, it is manifest, that 
the ratio between them of 2 : 1 still exists. For another in- 
stance, take the proposition, that the areas of similar poly- 
gons, inscribed in circles, are as the squares of the diameters 
of those circles. As before observed, when two series of 
polygons are produced by a continual bisection of the arcs 
of their circumscribing circles, all the terms will have the 
same ratio, should the series be continued ever so far. And 
it is affirmed, that, admitting the series to be infinite, the ra- 
tio extends through all the infinite number of terms : for if it 
does not, the ratio stops at some assignable place in the se- 
ries ; but. there can be no reason given why it should stop at 
this place ; therefore it follows, that the ultimate ratio, with 
which the two series vanish, is a thing which can be had, al- 
though we cannot arrive at the ultimate terms themselves. It 
hence appears that even the science of the Mathematics has 
its mysteries : which may well serve to repress that pride, 
which is apt to arise in those who are conversant about 
truths, that are clear and demonstrable ; but abstruse, and 
withdrawn from minds of the ordinary cast. 

As the areas of the polygons are obtained by adding to- 
gether the small parallelograms, of which the polygons are 
composed ; it seems to be implied, that, when we arrive at 
the curvihneal spaces, the ratio supposes the addition of an 
infinite number of infinitely small parallelograms. No such 
thing is pretended. Without considering the manner in 
which the areas of the curves are obtained, it is inferred, that 
the ratio, which reaches through all the infinite number of 
terms in the two series of polygons, that are compared, ex- 
ists also in the curvihneal spaces, which are their limits ; and 
that the ultimate ratio, which is the ratio formed by the evan- 
escent terms, is the same with that of the limits themselves, 
because their difference is less than any assignable quantity. 
Limits are therefore used instead of evanescent quantities, at 
which we cannot arrive. Hence the object of exhaustions is 
not to obtain the last term of an infinite series. That this 
was Sir Isaac Newton's idea of nascent and evanescent 
quantities, and limits, is evident from his Scholium to the XI. 
Lemm a of his Principia. Speaking of the nature of ultimate 
ratios, he says : " Those ultimate ratios with which quanti- 
ties vanish, are not truly the ratios of ultimate quantities, but 
limits, towards which the ratios of quantities decreasing with- 
out limit do always converge ; and to which they approach 

A Theory of Fluxions. 345 

nearer than by any given difference, but never go beyond, 
nor in effect attain to, until the quantities are diminished in 

I have given the ideas of Sir Isaac Newton concerning 
some of the properties and relations of infinite quantities in 
his own words, because I conceived, that a just notion of 
prime and ultimate ratios, nascent and evanescent quanti- 
ties, and especially the limits of infinite series, was of great 
importance in gaining a knowledge of a science, at once the 
most sublime, beautiful, and subtle, that has ever exercised 
the ingenuity of man ; and because I conceived, that the 
doctrine could not be expressed in a manner more clear and 
perspicuous, than in the words of that illustrious philosopher. 

The limit of x n is nx n_1 , and the limit of a x is N«#, N being 
the Napieran logarithm of a. In curvilineal figures it is the 

same with the ordinate, and in the circle it is (ax — x 2 ) 2 , in 

c — -i 

the ellipsis it is ~(tx— a 2 ) 2 , in the parabola it is (jps) 2 , and 

in the hyperbola - — These limits are also the same with 


the fluxional co-efficients, and bear the same relation to their 
corresponding fluents, that a line does to a superficies, or a 
superficies, to a solid. Hence limits are always one dimen- 
sion less, than the fluents to which they stand related. The 
fluxional base x' is a fundamental quantity, which supplies 
the defect in dimensions ; and, by making fluxions to be 
things of the same kind with fluents, renders it possible, that 
a proportion between them may exist. This insertion of a 
fluxional base constitutes the difference between fluxions and 
indivisibles. Fluxions, then, may be defined to be the ratio 
of variable quantities. 

Some Mathematicians have expressed themselves con- 
cerning infinitely great, and infinitely small quantities, as 
though they were quantities, at which we can arrive ; hence 
they have treated of them much in the same way, as of finite 
ones. This is evidently inconsistent with that accuracy and 
clearness of reasoning, for which mathematical science is 
justly celebrated. Owing, probably, to this erroneous idea 
of infinity, they have spoken in a very loose wav of a differ- 
ential quantity, as though the curvilineal space MECX, (Fig. 
6.) was intended by it ; considering the part MEK to be so 
far diminished by repeated subdivisions, as to become of no 

Vol. XIV.— No. 2. 18 

346 A Theory of Fluxions. 

consequence. In conformity with this idea, they have called 
it an infinitesimal, to express in a strong manner the small- 
ness of the quantity from which they might be allowed to ex- 
punge the part MEK. But however small it may be, it has 
still some magnitude, and so far it must, at least in theory, 
be considered as involving an error. 

Sec. 6. Fluxions of the higher Orders. 

When, in the generation of a variable quantity, its fluxion 
is different at different stages of its production, it may be 
considered as a fluent, and its fluxion taken, which is called 
the second fluxion. Also when the second fluxion is a vari- 
able quantity, the fluxion of this fluxion may be taken, which 
is called the third fluxion. After the same manner, fourth, 
fifth, sixth, &-c, fluxions will arise, when the preceding ones 
are variable quantities. The first fluxion of x" is 2xx', its 
second fluxion, considering the fluxional base x' a constant 
quantity, is 2ar 2 . The first fluxion of x 3 is 3x 2 x', its second 
fluxion is 6xx' 2 , and its third fluxion is 6a;* 3 . In each of these 
instances, the last term becomes a constant quantity, and 
the next fluxion is equal to 0. It hence appears, that the 
index of the power of a variable quantity points out the high- 
est order of fluxions, which that power admits of. The re- 
lation of the fluxions of the several orders to the correspond- 
ing increment of a variable quantity, may be discovered in 
the following manner. Suppose ar to be the increment of 
x, then '* 

Ixx'-^-x' 2 is the increment of a; 2 , 

and 2a;a;-+2x'2+0 are the orders of the fluxions, 
again Sx 2 x'-\-3xx' z -{-x' 3 is the increment of x 3 , 

and 3a; 2 x , -f-6xx' 2 -f-6x #3 +0are the orders of the fluxions. 

By comparing the terms, which compose the increment, 
with the corresponding terms, which constitute the first, se- 
cond, third, &c, fluxions, it will be found, that the powers 
of x and x' are the same in each ; therefore if the" several 
terms in the latter quantity be divided by certain divisors A, 
B, C, &c, it will become equal to the former, and the cor- 
responding terms themselves will be equal ; that is, — — -f 


J!l_=23Er- r -a: ,a . Taking the corresponding terms, — ■ *= 
B A 

A Theory of Fluxions. 347 

%xx\ hence A=l ; also =a; ,2 ,hence B=2. Again ' 

B 6 A 

firr' 2 fir -3 

+'ri_+ D _=3o; 2 a;- 4-3^-2+0; •*. Let the corresponding 
terms be taken, and x x =3x 2 x-, hence A=l ; also 


6a;* 3 
=3a;x ,a , hence B=2 ; likewise _-=a;- 3 , hence C=6. Put- 

tingx 3 =E, it will be, ' — -f- = the corresponding 

increment of a; 3 . By taking higher powers, we may extend 
the series to any proposed length. Taking for instance a; 4 , 

and proceeding as before, we obtain * — -f- — + — = 
v S 2 6 24 

the corresponding increment of a; 4 , and so on for other 

If the power of a; is supposed to be infinite, then the fore- 
going series also becomes infinite ; and if the digits which 
produce the several multiples are taken, we have, 
E-+E" E;- + E-^ JS-^ & ^ . n . nf _ the c( ^ 

2 2.3 2.3.4 
responding increment. 

Whence the law of continuation in the series is manifest. 
This series may be derived from the celebrated theorem, pub- 
lished by Taylor in his Methodus Incrementorum, by making 
z=z\ (See Maclaurin's Flux., Vol. 2, Sec. 751,) and it hence 
appears, what share the fluxion of each order contributes to- 
wards producing the increment of any proposed power. 

Fig. 9. 

%— » Let ABC be a half square, AC=BC 
='*■ CE =BF =ar. The first fluxion is 
the parallelogram BFEC=a;a;•, the se- 
cond fluxion is the small square GDFB 
=x 2 . When %• is invariable, x' a is a 
constant quantity ; hence the third flux- 
ion is equal to 0, and the series of flux- 
ions here ends. By the figure it is man- 
Jl~ c """e ifest, that the increment BDEC is com- 

posed of the first fluxion BFEC, and half the second fluxion 


A Theory of Fluxions,. 


Fig. 11. 

! \\ 

2 XX' 

Figures 10th and 11 th, are two 
different views of the same section 
of a cube, in which the same letters 
answer to the same parts ; and the 
base lines, and those parallel to 
them, are distinguished by full lines, 
and other parts by occult lines. 
This section is a pyramid, whose 
apex A is at one of the corners of 
the cube, and whose base GH& is 
half the square that composes a 
side. By the section it appears, that 
this pyramid is one sixth part of the 
cube. Let the pyramid ADEe rep- 
resent the fluent, and DEeGHA an 
increment corresponding to DG, 
•^ the fluxion of the axis. Let EI, 
and ei, parallel to DG, meet GH, 
and GA, in I and i ; and eN, par- 
allel to EH, meet Eh in N. The 

the se- 

rirst fluxion — is represented by the prism DEeGK 

A Theory of Fluxions. 349 

cond fluxion ocx' 2 , by a parallelopipedon, which is double the 
prism EIHei'N ; the third fluxion x' 3 , by a cube, which is 
made up of six prisms, similar and equal to eNih. Because 
a;* 3 is a constant quantity, the fourth fluxion is equal to 0. 
From the section it is evident, that the increment DEeGHA 
is composed of three parts ; the prism EDeIG/, which is the 
first fluxion ; the prism EIHeiN, which is one half the second 
fluxion ; and the pyramid eNih, which is one sixth part of the 
third fluxion. 

For the benefit of the Mathematical students, I have pre- 
sented to Yale College, a set of models designed to give a 
geometrical illustration of the higher orders of fluxions by 
the sections of the Pyramid and Cube. No. I. represents 
the several orders of fluxions arising from the Pyramid, and 
explains by solid figures the diagram in Maclaurin's fluxions 
illustrating his celebrated theorem, which is, that the first 
fluxion, half the second fluxion, and one sixth of the third 
fluxion, are equal to the corresponding increment in the third 
power. The fluent is represented by a Pyramid of a white 
color, whose base is half a square of two inches. The first 
fluxion by a short prism of a red color, one inch in length. 
The second fluxion by a parallelopipedon of a yellow color 
two inches in length, having its ends a square of one inch, 
formed by the union of two equal prisms. The third fluxion 
by a small cube of a blue color, having its sides one inch, 
formed by the union of the six little pyramids. No. II. is all 
of a white color, and represents merely the increment 3x a x'-{- 
3xx' 2 -+-x' 3 of the cube. 

An actual inspection of these sections, as all must be sensi- 
ble, will give the clearest idea of the nature of these quanti- 
ties, but for the sake of those who may not have the oppor- 
tunity of viewing the models, I have attempted to explain 
No. III. by drawings. Fig. 1. is one of the three pyramids, 
of which the fluent, (fig. 2.) which is a cube, is composed. 
The apex of the first may be conceived to be situated at the 
nearest left hand corner at the top, having its base at the 
bottom. The second has its apex at the same corner, and 
base at the side opposite : and the third pyramid has its apex 
at the same corner, and its base at the opposite end. Fig. 
3. 4. and 5., are kathetic views of the several orders of flux- 
ions arising from the three pyramids just mentioned ; in 
which the lines representing their thickness in the projection, 
fall behind and are hidden. When the first fluxion is, produ- 

350 A Theory of Fluxions. 

ced, the three bases of the pyramids are supposed to be in- 
variable, and by their motion to generate the three parallel- 
opipedons of a red color, (fig. 3. 4. 5.) representing the three 
terms of the first fluxion x 2 x'-\-x 2 x'-\-x 2 x\ or 3x a x: Next, the 
two flowing sides in each of the red parallelopipedons by 
their motion, produce the six parallelopipedons of a yellow 
color, (fig. 3. 4. 5.) representing the second fluxion 6xx' 2 . 
And lastly, the ends of the yellow parallelopipedons, that are 
supposed to flow, produce the six cubes of a blue color, (fig. 
3. 4. 5.) representing the third fluxion 6x* 3 . To construct 
the whole solid figure representing the higher orders of flux- 
ions in the cube, we are to imagine the sections fig. 3. to be 
placed at the bottom of the cube (fig. 2.) ; those of fig. 4. at 
the side opposite ; and those of fig. 5. at the end opposite to 
the corner A, at which the fluent originated. These figures 
are to be placed about the cube in such a manner as to make 
the same letters stand together. To the fluent, add the first 
fluxion, half the second fluxion, and one sixth of the third 
fluxion, and it constitutes the cube NLCKMO, (fig. 6.) com- 
posed of the original fluent EGCDBF, (fig. 2.) and the in- 

N. B. The reader will notice that the position of the cube 
in fig. 6. is different from that in fig. 2. as is denoted by the 
letters. The side ACBD, fronts the reader. BDFH is the 
base of the fluent, the edge FH being the more distant one 
of the base. ABFE, the left hand side. EGFH is the side 
opposite, and farther distant from the reader, of which the 
edge EF only should be seen, after the whole figure is form- 
ed, the plane NOMP is the base. 

Tallmadge, Ohio, April, 1828. 

See the annexed plate, in which the figures are reduced 
to half their original size. — Ed. 

Tab. Q 

_<y /'/ti<?//.j &</r/rsi/. 

.*> g •uama& . 

///<////:,:} t^/uacfhi 


<^.«r///.,, jy 

Fig. 5. 

& H 


_ /^V7/./ / ' '(/ / -/ fr. 

hi a. 

Fin. ,5ff. 

Fiq -V 



O . //f>/ , H?,jAy)/ t Ji,//i/?. gflor 

/?. nana,. Of 
7. minor , D. 

Cartography. 3 5 1 

Art. XIII. — Caricography. 

Appendix, continued from Vol. XII. p. 297. 

No. 125. Carex exilis, Dewey. 
Tab. Q. fig. 53. 

Unispicata androgyna et dioica gracili, setaceo-foliata ; 
spica fructifera distigmatica inferne stamenifera subdensiflo- 
ra simplici ; fructibus ovatolanceolatis utrinque convexis 
divergentibus serrulate marginatis, squama ovata acuta paulo 

Culm 12-20 inches high, slightly triquetrous, very slender, 
scabrous above ; leaves triquetrous, setaceous, sheathing to- 
wards the bases, not half the length of the culm ; androgy- 
nous and dioecious ; spike single, simple, oblong, half inch 
in length, rather dense -flowered ; staminate spike closely im- 
bricate, with lanceolate scales ; stigmas two ; fructiferous 
spikes staminate below ; fruite ovate, lanceolate, convex on 
both sides, diverging, scabrous on the margin ; pistillate 
scale ovate, acute, tawny, white on the edge, a little shorter 
than the fruit ; colour of the plant pale green. 

Flowers in May ; found at Danvers, Mass. by Wm. Oakes, 
Esq., and, is a singular and beautiful plant. It grows in 
small tufts, and also separate, in wet, cold meadows. 

p. squamacea. Tab. Q. fig. 54. 

Spica androgyna longiore ; floribus stameniferis plurimis, 

Androgynous spike often more than an inch Jong, with 
abundance of staminate flowers, and a few fruit at the sum- 
mit. It is a rather larger plant than the preceding, but close- 
ly resembles it. 

Flowers in May — June ; found at Ipswich, Mass. by Mr. 
Oakes, in dense and large tufts on the overflowed lands of 
Ipswich river. 

, No. 126. C. Ohesiana, Dewey. 
Tab. Q. fig. 55. 
Spicis distinctis ; spica stamenifera solitaria brevi-bractea- 
ta, obionga, gracili ; spicis fructiferis tristigmaticis subbinis 
ovatis distantibus bracteatis, inferiore subpedunculata ; fruc- 
tibus ovatis subtriquetris subinflatis nervosis brevi-rostratis 

352 Varicography. 

glabris ore integris, squama ovato-lanceolata paulo longi- 

Culm about a foot high, triquetrous, scabrous above ; 
leaves linear, triquetrous, erect, rather stiff, a little shorter 
than the culm, sheathing at the base ; bracts long, lance- 
linear, with short sheaths ; staminate spike single, an inch 
and half long, slender, triquetrous, pedunculate, with a sca- 
ly and linear bract, and closely imbricated and oblong and 
obtuse scales ; stigmas three ; pistillate spikes about two, 
ovate, distant, lower one on a short peduncle ; fruit ovate, 
triquetrous, nerved, crowded, somewhat inflated, smooth, 
short-rostrate, with mouth entire; pistillate scale ovate, acute, 
tawny, a little shorter than the fruit ; colour of the plant, a 
light green. 

Flowers in June ; grows on the edge of ponds, with C. 
aquatilis, at the base of the White Mountains, N. H. — 
found by Wm. Oakes, Esq., in honor of whom it is named. 
It has a remote resemblance to C. Elliotii — but differs in 
various characters. It seems to be clearly a new species. 

Of the following species already described, the research- 
es of our botanists afford us additional knowledge. 

C. Wormskoldiana, Hornem. 
Vol. XI. p. 154. Tab. R. fig. 56. 

Dioica unispicata simplici interdum bracteata planifoliata ; 
spica fructifera dis-et-tris-stigmatica oblonga acuta dense 
imbricato-cylindracea ; fructibus ovatis et subobovatis bre- 
vi-rostratis pubescentibus vel pilosis, squamam ovatam acu- 
tam subaquantibus. 

Culm 4-8 inches high, nearly round, smooth, scabrous 
above, sheathed towards the base, sometimes with a seta- 
ceous bract a little below the spike ; leaves flat, smooth, 
lanceolate, nearly as long as the culm ; spike cylindric, an 
inch long, closely imbricate, acute, brown ; stigmas often 
three, sometimes appear to be only two on the same spike ; 
fruit ovate, and somewhat obovate, obtuse, rostrate, pubes- 
cent or pilose ; pistillate scales ovate, acute, dark brown, 
green on the keel, rather longer than the fruit ; staminate 
scale ovate-lanceolate, tawny, whitish on the edge ; colour of 
the plant yellowish green. 

Flowers in June ; found by Wm. Oakes, Esq., on the 
Alpine parts of the White Mountains, N. H. for the first 
time (1827) in New England. 

Varicography. 353 

C. Xanthophysa, Wahl. 
Vol. VII. p. 274, and Tab. D. fig. 15. Vol. X. 

Spicis distinctis ; spica stamenifera solitaria ; spicis fruc- 
tiferis tristigmaticis crassis subternis distantibus laxifloris 
ovatis exserte vel incluse pedunculatis folioso-bracteatis ; 
•fructibus oblongo-canicis inflatis magnis rostratis divergen- 
tibus ore bifurcatis, squama ovato-lanceolata subaristata 

Culm 2-5 feet high, triquetrous ; leaves linear lanceolate, 
large, sheathing towards the base ; bracts long, leafy, with 
sheaths of variable length, sometimes wholly inclosing the 
peduncles; staminate spike single, pedunculate, short, small, 
with lanceolate scales ; pistillate spikes two to four, ovate, 
thick, distant, upper ones sometimes staminate at the apex ; 
stigmas three ; fruit oblong-conic, sometimes an inch long, 
large, diverging, often nearly horizontal, rostrate and bifur- 
cate ; pistillate scale ovate-lanceolate, or lanceolate-acu- 
minate, variable in length, usually a little shorter than the 
fruit ; colour of the plant is pale yellowish green. 

Flowers in May ; grows in marshy places on the more el- 
evated tracts of land — common, but not abundant, in New 
England. In a marsh at Middlefield, Mass. it grows to the 
height of five feet. 

js. nana. Tab. R. fig. 57. 

Spicis fructiferis subbinis subapproximatis subexserte-pe- 
dunculatis folioso-bracteatis; fructibus subinflatis rostratis, 
squama ovata acuta duplo longioribus. 

Culm about a foot high, rather slender ; pistillate spikes 
about two, an inch distant, often nearer, with peduncles 
slightly exserted ; fruit more slender than the preceding, half 
inch long, about twice as long as the ovate and acute scale. 
In other respects, it is like the preceding. > 

Flowers in May — June ; found by Wm. Oakes, Esq., at 
the base of the white Mountains, about ponds — also, near 
Hanover, N. H. 

y. minor. Tab. R. fig. 58. 
Spicis fructiferis binis aggregatis. 

Less than the preceding with which it grows — has two 
clustered pistillate spikes, with the staminate spike very small. 

C. siccata, Dewey. Vol. X. p. 278. 
When described, this plant had been found only in the 
Vol. XIV.— No. 2. 19 


Chemical Apparatus. 

It has been found by Mr. Oakes, 

vicinity of Westfield, Mass. 
at Ipswich, Mass. 1827. 

C. aquatilis, Wahl. Vol. X. p. 267. 
Found by Mr. Oakes, in 1827, in a marsh near the base of 
the White Mountains, N. H. 

Art. XIV. — Some new modifications of apparatus, calcula- 
ted to facilitate the experimental illustration of the science; 
by Robert Hare, M. D. Professor of Chemistry in the 
University of Pennsylvania. 

Combustion of pulverized metals in chlorine. 

A jar, about thirty inch- 
es in height, is placed be- 
tween two iron rods, which, 
towards their upper ter- 
minations, have been cut 
by a screw-plate, and duly 
furnished with screw nuts. 
By these means, a lid is 
pressed upon the mouth of 
the jar, so as to be air tight. 
Into the centre of the lid, 
a cock is fastened, the key 
of which, instead of being- 
perforated as usual, is dril- 
led only half through, so 
as to produce an excava- 
tion capable of holding a 
thimbleful of powder. 

There is inserted into 
the lid, on one side, a re- 
curved tube, to which a 
large uninflated bladder is 
tied, so that the cavity of 
the bladder, may freely 
communicate with that of 
the jar. On the other side, 
the beak of a retort is in- 
troduced, so as to reach 
the bottom of the jar. 
The body of the retort, being properly supplied with mu- 
riatic acid and manganese, and heat being applied, chlo- 

Chemical Apparatus. 


rine is evolved ; which being heavier than atmospheric air, 
soon occupies the greater part of the jar, the air being ex- 
pelled through the aperture, by which the beak of the retort 
enters, without closing it air tight. The retort being remov- 
ed, and the hole well corked, the cavity in the key of the 
cock is duly charged with pulverised antimony, which on 
turning the key half round, falls through the chlorine, and 
is converted, as it falls, into a shower of fire. Considerable 
expansion ensues ; but the bladder receives so large a por- 
tion of air, as to prevent any explosion ; while the cock, be- 
ing, from its construction, always closed, and the junctures 
being tight, the spectators are protected from the noxious 

Apparatus for the combustion of metallic leaves, in chlorine. 

The ends of a glass cock are severally cemented into the 
perforated necks of two bell glasses, A, B, one of them 


Chemical Apparatus. 

smaller than the other, and surmounting it in an inverted 
position. The brass plate which covers the orifice of the up- 
per bell, is so fitted to it, as to form an air tight juncture, and 
is furnished with a cock terminating in a gallows and screw, 
for attaching a leaden pipe proceeding from an air pump. 
A hook is soldered to the lower surface of the plate, from 
which some leaves of Dutch gold* are suspended. Suppose 
the lower bell to be filled with chlorine over the hydropneu- 
matic cistern, the upper one exhausted by the air pump. On 
turning the cock, the chlorine will rush into the upper bell, 
and cause the instantaneous combustion of the included leaf 
metal. Afterwards the upper bell will be replete with the fumes 
of the resulting chlorides, of the metallic matter of the alloy. 
Apparatus for procuring nitrogen. 

Apparatus for abstracting the oxygen from atmospheric air, 
and leaving the nitrogen so situated, as to be drawn easily 
from the containing vessel, in such quantities, and at such 
times, as may be desirable. 

Concentric with the axis of the globular glass vessel, A, 
is a portion of a gun barrel, which is soldered to a large stop- 

* An alloy of copper. 

Chemical Apparatus. 357 

pie of brass, ground to fit, air tight, in a brass collar cemen- 
ted upon the neck of the vessel. On one side of the gun 
barrel, a flexible lead pipe, P, with a cock, is soldered into 
a perforation in the stopple, which enables it to communi- 
cate with the interior of the globe. In like manner another 
tube is soldered into the stopple, which establishes a com- 
munication between the cavity of the uninflated bladder, B, 
and that of the globe. Into a tubulure, T, another larger 
pipe is luted, so that while one part proceeds, within, to the 
bottom of the vessel, the other is surmounted without, by a 
cock and funnel. The gun barrel is closed at the lower end 
— at the upper end is open. Near the lower end is soldered, 
a cup of sheet copper, perforated so as to allow the gun bar- 
rel to pass through it for about an inch. 

On this cup, the phosphorus in small pieces is placed, and 
the bottom of the vessel being covered by water, the stopple 
is seated in the brass collar, as seen in the figure. The 
cocks being all shut, the phosphorus is heated through the 
gun barrel by a red hot iron, I, passed down the bore of the 
barrel, until the heated part is opposite the copper cup. As 
soon as the combustion begins, the hot iron should be with- 
drawn ; but when the flame burns dimly, the iron, mean- 
while, returned into the fire, must be again applied, to sup- 
port the temperature, until all the oxygen may have united 
with the phosphorus. At the commencement of the com- 
bustion, the bladder is inflated in consequence of the expan- 
sion of the air arising from the heat ; but, as the volume of 
the air is reduced, about one fifth, by the condensation of 
its oxygen, and as the heat causing the expansion escapes, 
the air which had inflated the bladder, returns into the globe. 
Its return should be accelerated and completed, by compres- 
sing the bladder, the neck of which, while compressed, should 
be tied. Water should then be introduced through the fun- 
nel, the cock being opened for the purpose, until the deficit 
caused by the loss of oxygen, be compensated. By the in- 
troduction of a farther quantity of water, any requisite por- 
tion of the gas may be made to flow out, through the pipe, 
P ; which, in the original, is long enough to reach under the 
sliding shelf of the pneumatic cistern. 


Chemical Apparatus. 

Apparatus for showing some of the distinguishing prop 
ties of carbonic acid gas. 


Having introduced into 
the three necked bottle, 
represented in this figure, 
one or two ounces of car- 
bonate of ammonia, add 
about half as much deep 
orange colored nitric acid, 
an active effervescence 
will ensue, arising from the 
expulsion of the carbonic 
acid from the ammonia, 
by the stronger affinity of 
the nitric acid. At the 
same time sufficient fume 
will be generated to make 
it evident, how far the ves- 
sels are occupied by the 
gas, to the exclusion of 
atmospheric air. 

The movements of the 
carbonic acid gas will thus 
be recognized, as ascen- 
ding to the upper vessel, 
it will fill, and finally overflow this vessel, through the crev- 
ice, between the brim and cover. 

The cover being removed, a lighted candle will cease to 
burn, when lowered into the fume, indicating the space oc- 
cupied by the gas. This space will comprise the whole cavity 
of the vessel, so long as the aperture, A, is closed ; but, on 
removing the cock from this aperture, the gas will flow out, 
and the stream marked by the accompanying fume, will be 
seen descending towards the table, and will extinguish the 
flame of a candle if made to encounter it ; or, it may be re- 
ceived into a mug, so as to arrest the combustion of a taper 
introduced into it, or upon which the contents of the mug 
may be poured. 

Under these circumstances, a taper will burn any where 
within the vessel, V, if it be not below the aperture, A, above 
which the gas is not now seen to extend itself. But if one 
of the orifices of the bottle be opened, the carbonic acid 
will be found entirely to desert the upper vessel. 

General Strata. 359 

It will thus be made evident, that this gas, from its great' 
er specific gravity, has, in the atmosphere, some of the habi- 
tudes of liquids ; while its incapacity to support combustion, 
will be demonstrated. 

That wells are so often fatal to those who enter them, is 
owing to the tendency of carbonic acid towards the lowest 
accessible cavities. This gas may be displaced from such 
situations, by mechanical agitation, by means of any bulky 
body alternately raised and depressed quickly. Any very 
inflammable matter, lowered while in a state of inflamma- 
tion, as a cloth dipped in spirit of wine, or turpentine, would 
dislodge the gas if not let down into it so precipitately as 
to be extinguished. The firing of guns into the well, might 
be useful. Moistened gunpowder, in the same state as in 
the squibs made by boys, might be worthy of trial. An ounce 
of gunpowder might be spread over the bottom of a bucket, 
lowered into the well, and ignited by letting a squib, burning 
coal, or red hot iron, fall into it. 

Art. XV. — General Geological Strata ; by Prof. Amos 


(Continued from p. 159.) 

No one is qualified for examining geological facts, nor for 
reading essays or unsystematic treatises on geology, until he 
has fixed in his mind a systematic arrangement of general 
strata. Almost any system, however defective, will serve for 
a kind of repository wherein he may collate facts for future 

A system of general strata should be as simple as possible, 
without doing violence to nature. The following remarks 
and definitions were prepared for those who wish to give a 
little attention to geology, as circumstances may afford con- 
venient opportunities ; or who may intend to pursue the stu- 
dy extensively. Both classes of geologists should commence 
alike ; as neither can enter upon the threshold of the science, 
without some general views of classification. 

Every geologist would willingly devote considerable time 
and attention to this part of the science, if he had no other 
motives than personal relief from the geological jargon which 
he is compelled to endure in every steam-boat and canal 
packet, and at every public watering place. The absurdi- 

360 Ceneral Strata. 

ties of Ditton, Whiston, and Buffon, are outdone by our tra- 
velling Werners and Huttons. Even grave looking clergy- 
men and civilians, who cannot distinguish granite from pud- 
ding-stone, often hold us by the button to tell us how a ridge 
was thrown up, or a rock thrown down, or how a breach was 
made through a mountain. 

Could the attention of such persons be drawn to the con- 
templation of facts as they present themselves at every step, 
and could they be induced to systematize those facts and to 
use them as subjects for solid instruction, the taste, and even 
the morals of the community, would be greatly improved. 

After becoming familiar with a system of general strata, 
every geological fact that passes under observation, excites 
deep interest. The mind will then withdraw itself from the 
vagaries of fancy, and enter with avidity upon the investiga- 
tion of substantial things. 

I do not offer this nomenclature as a perfect system. But 
it is the best I am capable of preparing without more knowl- 
edge of the subject. Though I have devoted more time to 
American geology than any other person, and that too under 
the most favorable auspices,* I confess that my investigations 
have, at every step, convinced me, that the work is but be- 
gun. The wonderful discoveries of Cuvier and Buckland 
have opened a new source of inquiry, which almost promises 
to revive the long lost history of the antediluvians. We are 
already enabled to look beyond the flood, and to hold com- 
munion with beings which have left no descendants on the 
earth, and to learn much of their characters. 

The growing importance of geology requires redoubled 
vigilance in teachers to guard the science from those absur- 
dities, which are calculated to degrade its character. Long 
experience has convinced me, that the most essential safe- 
guard is a correct nomenclature of general strata. The stu- 
dy is not laborious, if conducted judiciously. Like the fa- 
mous adit at the Southampton mines : though the miners 
make their way slowly into the granitic rock ; a traveller may 
overtake them in a few minutes. So the student may soon 
overtake the science of geology ; though to advance it, a 
very little, requires much labor and reflection. 

* My expenses have been defrayed for the last seven years by the Honora- 
ble Stephen Van Rensselaer ; who has expended more than eighteen thousand 
dollars, during that period, in causing researches and trials to be made, for the 
purpose of improving and extending the natural sciences. 

General Strata. 361 

In this nomenclature, I omit many of the numerous gene- 
ral strata, given by Europeans, specimens of which may be 
found in this country. But the same European geologists 
would, in my opinion, consider the omit,ted strata as beds or 
Varieties, even in their own country, after examining them 
here. The numerous primitive ranges in Europe cut up the 
strata into such limited portions, that it is difficult to distin- 
guish between what ought to be treated as a bed or a variety, 
and what as a general stratum. Here we have no general 
stratum which cannot be traced from one hundred to five 
hundred miles. It was said by De Luc, that the general stra- 
ta must be settled in America, where nature seems to have 
executed her works upon an enlarged scale. 

Probably future geologists will find it convenient to divide 
the Lias and Third Graywacke into several general strata. 
But it is the opinion of several American geologists who have 
visited Europe, and of two European geologists whom I have 
accompanied to some of our important localities, that both 
of these strata and the two interposed, are comprised in the 
Oolitic formation of the English. It is certain that the es- 
sential characters of the upper and lower layers of what I 
have called Third Graywacke and Lias, are very accurate- 
ly given by Philips and Conybeare as layers of the Oolitic 
formation. Therefore, to follow these eminent geologists, 
we must put the whole vast range of the Allegany and Cats- 
kill Mountains in the same general stratum, and all other vis- 
ible rocks, excepting the saliferous, between the River Hud- 
son and the Rocky Mountains. But we must treat some 
minute beds of a few yards in extent, on the east side of the 
Hudson, as general strata. 

According to the nomenclature here adopted, the Lias, 
Geodiferous limerock, the Cornitiferous limerock, and the 
Third Graywacke, occupy, as uppermost rocks, more than 
half of the great states of New York, Pennsylvania, and Vir- 
ginia, and nearly all the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Ken- 
tucky, Tennessee, and the Michigan Territory. If we adopt 
the European nomenclature, we must treat of this vast ter- 
ritory under the Oolitic formation, though no Oolite has ever 
been found in it — the Saratoga Oolite being confined to the 
transition sandstone of Werner, (our Calciferous sandstone.) 
For these and other reasons, I prefer continuing the use of 
descriptive terms which cannot mislead ; and leaving to 
others the business of giving precise technical names. 

Vol. XIV,— No. 2. 20 

362 „; General Strata. 

In the preceding Synopsis, a specimen of each general 
stratum is represented by a wood cut figure. The order of 
superposition and the direction of the strata may be perceiv- 
ed at a single view. Several other characters of each stra- 
tum are also exhibited by these figures. 

The original classes of Werner, (primitive, transition, and 
secondary,) are retained ; because I cannot discover any ad- 
vantages in the proposed alterations. I adopt Bakewell's 
name for volcanic or basaltic rocks. And I prefer the old 
general appellation, Detritus, to tertiary formation. For 
boulders of ancient rocks cannot be considered as of the 
tertiary formation, and the recently indurated Detritus, being 
only a modification of it, in the form of puddingstone, &c., 
does not require a particular name. 

Names under the Primitive Class.* 

1. Granite, is an aggregate of angular masses of quartz, 
felspar, and mica. Subdivisions. — It is called crystalline, 
(granite proper,) when the felspar and quartz present a crys- 
talline, not a slaty, form. It is called slaty, (gneiss) when 
the mica is so interposed in layers as to present a slaty form. 
Varieties. — It is graphic, when the felspar is in a large pro- 
portion, and the quartz is arranged in oblong masses, so as 
to present an appearance resembling Chinese letters. It is 
porphyritic, when spotted with cuboid blocks of felspar. 
This variety is peculiar to the slaty division. 

2. Mica Slate, is an aggregate of grains of quartz and 
scales of mica. Subdivisions. — Compact, when the slaty 
laminae are so closely united, that it will present an uniform 
smooth face when cut transversely. Fissile, when the la- 
minae separate readily by a blow upon its surface. 

3. Hornblende RocK,t is an aggregate, not basaltic, con- 
sisting wholly, or in part, of hornblende and felspar. Sub- 

* Every rock consists, essentially, of one, two, or three, of the following; 
nine homogeneous minerals. These are called the geological alphabet; and 
every student must procure, and familiarize himself with, a specimen of each, 
before he commences the study of geology — quartz, felspar, mica, talc, horn- 
blende, argillite, limestone, gypsum, chlorite. He should procure also a spe- 
cimen of iron pyrites, hornstone, calc-spar, reddle-ore, bog-ore, glance-coal, 
bituminous- coal. 

1 1 believe Maclure first applied this general name, to all the varieties of 
primitive hornblende rock. 

General Strata. 363 

divisions. — Granitic, when it presents the appearance of 
crystalline granite, with hornblende substituted for mica. 
Slaty, when of a rifty or tabular structure. Varieties. — 
Gneisseoid, when it resembles slaty granite (gneiss) with 
scales of hornblende substituted for mica. Greenstone, when 
of a pretty uniform green color, and containing but a small 
proportion of felspar, generally of a slaty structure. Por- 
phyritic, when spotted with cuboid blocks of felspar. Sien- 
itic, when speckled with small irregular masses of felspar. 

4. Talcose Slate, is an aggregate of grains of quartz and 
scales of mica and talc* Subdivisions. — Compact, having 
the lamina? so closely united that a transverse section may 
be wrought into a smooth face. When the quartzose parti- 
cles are very minute and in a large portion, it is manufactur- 
ed into scythe-whetstones, called Quinnebog stones. Fis- 
sile, when the laminae separate readily by a blow upon the 
surface. Varieties. — Chloritic, when colored green by chlo- 
rite. In some localities the chlorite seems to form beds ; or 
rather the rock passes into an aggregate consisting of quartz, 
mica, talc, and a large proportion of chlorite. Vast beds of 
pure chlorite are embraced in this rock on Deerfield river, in 
Florida, Mass. 

5. Granular Quartz, consists of grains of quartz united 
without cement. Subdivisions. — Compact, when it consists 
of fine grains, so as to appear almost homogeneous ; gener- 
ally in large rhomboidal blocks. Sandy, when the grains 
are so slightly attached as to be somewhat friable. Varie- 
ties. — Translucent, when it is so compact and homogeneous 
as to transmit light. Yellow, when slightly tinged with iron, 
(probably a carbonate.) Ferruginous, when an aggregate 
of minute crystals, strongly colored yellow or red with the 
carbonate or peroxyd of iron. There is a remarkable local- 
ity two miles north of Bennington village, in Vermont. Large 
masses may be found consisting of six-sided crystals, with 
six-sided pyramids on both ends. 

6. Granular Limestone, consists of glimmering grains 
of carbonate of lime united without cement. Subdivisions. — 

* That a small proportion of talc scales should serve to distinguish this rock 
from mica-slate, would scarcely satisfy a mere cabinet student. But the tra- 
velling geologist will acknowledge its importance. See Taghconnuc and Sad- 
die mountains, and the same range along the west side of the Green mountains 
to Canada. 

30 4 General Strata. 

Compact, when it consists of grains of nearly pure carbonate 
of lime, so closely united that it will take a polish. Sandy, 
when grains of quartz are aggregated with the grains of car- 
bonate of lime, but so loosely as to be somewhat friable. 
Varieties. — Dolomite, when it consists in part of magnesia, 
and is friable. Verd-antiqite, when it is variegated in color 
by the presence of serpentine, giving it more or less of a 
clouded green. 

Names under the Transition Class. 

7. Argillite, is a slate rock of an aluminous character, 
and nearly homogeneous, always consisting of tables or la- 
minae whose direction forms a large angle with the general 
direction of the rock. Subdivisions. — Clay Slate, when the 
argillite is nearly destitute of all grittiness, and contains no 
scales of mica or talc. Wacke Slate, when it is somewhat 
gritty and contains glimmering scales of mica or talc. Va- 
rieties. — Roof Slate, when the slate is susceptible of division 
into pieces suitable for roofing houses and for cyphering slate. 
Glazed Slate, when the natural cleavages are lined with a 
black glazing. This variety contains anthracite coal and 
marine organic relics. 

8. First Graywacke, is an aggregate of angular grains 
of quartzose sand, united by an argillaceous cement, appar- 
ently disintegrated clay slate, and is never above the calcife- 
rous sandrock. Subdivisions. — Compact, when the grains 
are so fine and united so compactly, as to be suitable for 
quarrying. Rubble, when the grains, or a part of them, are 
too large for quarrying. This division is often very hard, and 
sometimes contains felspar, and has the appearance of coarse 
granite ; though some of the largest pebbles are generally 
rounded. It is often colored green with chlorite. Every 
kind of first graywacke is almost horizontal — being a little 
elevated at the edge next to the primitive rocks only. 

9. Sparry Limerock, consists of carbonate of lime, inter- 
mediate in texture between granular and compact ; and is 
traversed by veins of calcareous spar. Subdivisions. — Com- 
pact, when the masses or blocks, between the veins of spar, 
are sufficiently homogeneous and uniform to receive a pol- 
ish. Slaty, when the rock is in slaty tables or laminae, with 
transverse veins of calcareous spar. This rock is often cut 
into very small irregular blocks by the spar, which gives it the 
name of checkered rock. 

General Strata. 365 

10. Calcjferous Sandrock, consists of fine grains of 
quartzose sand and of carbonate of lime, united without cem- 
ent, or with an exceeding small proportion. Subdivisions. — 
Compact, when the rock is uniform, or nearly so, without 
cells or cavities. Geodiferous, when it contains numerous 
geodes, or curvilinear cavities ; which are empty or filled 
with calc spar, quartz crystals,* barytes, anthracite, or other 
mineral substances different from the rock. Varieties. — Oo- 
litic, when it consists in part of oolite, of a dark color, and 
harder than the kind which is common in the lias oolitic for- 
mation of Europe. 

11. Metalliferous Limerock, consists of carbonate of 
lime in a homogeneous state, or in the state of petrifactions 
Subdivisions. — Compact, when it contains but few petrifac 
tions, and is susceptible of a polish. Shelly, when it con 
sists of petrifactions, mostly of bivalve molluscous animals 
Variety. — Birdseye marble, when the natural layers are pierc 
ed transversely with cylindrical petrifactions, so as to give 
the birdseye appearance when polished. 

12. Second Graywacke, scarcely distinguished from first 
graywacke, excepting by its relative position, being always 
above calciferous sandrock. Subdivisions. — Compact, when 
in blocks or slaty, consisting of fine grains. Rubble, when it. 
consists of, or contains, large rounded pebbles. The rubble 
of second graywacke is in a much smaller proportion than in 
first graywacke. Varieties. — Red sandy, when it passes into 
red sandstone, which formation occurs in a few localities. 
Hone slate, when soft, and suitable for setting a fine edge. 
Grindstone, when the quartzose particles are sharp-angular. 

Names under the Secondary Class. 

1 3. Millstone Grit, is a coarse, hard, aggregate of sharp- 
angular quartzose sand or pebbles ; mostly without any cem- 
ent, always grey or rusty grey. Subdivisions. — Sandy, when 
it contains few or no pebbles. Conglomerate, when it con- 
sists chiefly of rounded pebbles. 

14. Saliferous Rock, consists of red, or bluish-grey, 
sand or clay-marle, or both. The grains of sand are mostly 

* On the north side of the Mohawk River, opposite to Spraker's Basin on the 
Erie canal, hundreds of quartz crystals have been found in a ledge of this rock, 
- containing anthracite coal. The crystals are mostly perfectly limpid, and have 
pyramids at both ends ; but some are in limpid globules. 

366 General Strata. 

somewhat rounded, and all the varieties of this rock, in some 
localities, form the floor of salt mines and salt springs. Sub- 
divisions. — Marl slate, when the rock is soft, slaty, and con- 
tains minute grains of carbonate of lime. Sandy, when it is 
in solid blocks or layers, consisting of red or bluish-grey 
quartzose sand. Varieties. — Grey-band, the uppermost lay- 
ers of biuish-grey sandrock. Conglomerate, (breccia,) con- 
sisting chiefly of rounded pebbles, red, grey, or rust-color, as 
under the superincumbent rocks at Mount Holyoke, the Pal- 
is des, on the Hudson river, &c. 

15. Ferriferous Rock, is a soft, slaty, argillaceous, or a 
hard, sandy, silicious rock, embracing red argillaceous iron 
ore. Subdivisions. — Slaty, consists of green, or bluish-green, 
smooth soft slate, generally immediately under the layer of 
red argillaceous iron ore. Sandy, consists of a grey, or rus- 
ty-grey aggregate of quartzose sandrock, in compact blocks 
or layers, overlying or embracing red argillaceous iron ore. 
Variety. — Conglomerate, consists of rounded pebbles, cem- 
ented together by carbonate or oxide of iron, or adhering 
without cement. 

16. Lias, consists of rounded grains of quartzose sand, clay 
slate, and sometimes partly of other aluminous compounds, 
of a dark or light grey color, aggregated with fine grains of 
carbonate of lime. Subdivisions. — Calciferous slate, when 
it is of a slaty texture, and the argillaceous and calcareous 
constituents predominate. Calciferous grit, when it is in 
blocks or thick layers, and the quartzose sand or sharp grit, 
predominates. Varieties. — Conchoidal, when the slaty kind 
is separated into small divisions, somewhat of a lenticular 
form, by natural conchoidal cleavages. Shell grit, when 
the gritty variety consists, in part, of petrifactions of quartzose 

17. Geodiferous Limerock, consists of carbonate of 
lime, combined with a small proportion of argillite or quartz, 
in a compact state, mostly foetid, and always containing nu- 
merous geodes. Subdivisions. — Swinestone, when it con- 
tains very little or no quartzose sand, is irregular in structure, 
foetid, and abounds in geodes. Sandy, when it contains 
quartzose sand, is stratified, scarcely foetid, and contains but 
few geodes. 

18. Cornitiferous Limerock, consists of carbonate of 
lime, embracing hornstone. Subdivisions. — Compact, when 
the rock is close-grained ; and it generally contains hornstone 

General Strata. 367 

in layers. Shelly, when it consists of shells and contains 
hornstone in nodules or irregular masses. 

19. Third Graywacke, having the character of first and 
second graywacke in general ; but differing in containing 
much iron pyrites, fine grains of carbonate of lime, in larger 
or smaller proportion, and in having the quartzose grains 
mostly rounded. Subdivisions. — Pyritiferous slate, when 
the rock has a slaty structure, and is in thin laminae, or in 
blocks or thick layers. Pyritiferous grit, when the rock has 
a silicious or gritty structure, containing a large proportion 
of quartzose sand or pebbles. Varieties. — Red sandstone 
and red wacke, when the grey rock passes into a dirty orange, 
and thence into a red silicious sandrock. This has been 
called old red sandstone ; but I do not believe that such a 
general stratum is admissible. Conglomerate, (breccia,) 
when the rock consists chiefly of rounded pebbles, of a light 
red, greyish red, or rust-color. 

Names under the Superincumbent Class. 

20. Basalt, is a hornblende rock, not primitive, probably 
of volcanic origin. Subdivisions. — Amygdaloid, when amor- 
phous, of a compact texture, but containing cellules, empty 
or filled. Greenstone trap, when of a columnar structure, 
or in angular blocks, often coarse-grained. Variety. — Toad- 
stone, when the amygdaloid has a warty appearance, and re- 
sembles slag. 

Names under the Alluvial Class. 

21. Antediluvion, when the detritus is in layers, so situa- 
ted that it must have been deposited from water, while stand- 
ing over it at great depth, in nearly a quiescent state. Sub- 
divisions. — Plastic clay, when it will not effervesce with acids ; 
being destitute of carbonate of lime. Wlarly clay, when the 
clay contains fine grains of carbonate of lime, sufficient to 
effervesce strongly with acids. Bagshot sand and crag, 
when it consists of quartzose sand, nearly pure, or combined 
with a little loam, it is called bagshot sand ; when it passes 
into a gravelly formation, often containing pudding-stone, 
beds of clay, &c, it is called crag. Variety. — Hard-pan, 
when the crag consists of gravel, strongly cemented by clay. 

22. Diluvion, consists of a confused mixture ol gravel, 
sand, clay, loam, plants, shell-animals, &c, so situated, that 

368 General Strata. 

it must have been deposited from water, in a state of forcible 
and violent action. To make its character perfectly evident, 
it must be so situated, that the elevation of the water, suffi- 
cient for making the deposit, could not have been effected 
by any existing cause. 

23. Ultimate Diluvion, a thin deposit of yellowish-grey 
loam, reposing on crag or some other substance in ancient 
uncultivated forest grounds. It is so situated, that it could 
not have been produced by the disintegration of any stratum 
in the vicinity, nor by water when running with much veloci- 
ty. It appears to have been deposited from waters greatly 
elevated,, and which had been rendered turbid by violent ac- 
tion, but had become almost quiescent. It may be consider- 
ed as the last settlings of a deluge. 

24. Post-diluvion, when the detritus is so arranged that 
coarse pebbles appear towards the source of the waters 
which deposited them, and fine sediment more remote. 

Names under the Analluvial Class. 

25. Stratified Analluvion, is the detritus, formed by 
the disintegration of rock strata, which remains in the situa- 
tion formerly occupied by the rocks, retaining the same or- 
der of superposition. Subdivisions. — These take the names, 
and retain the essential characters, of the original rocks ; as, 
saliferous, ferriferous, lias, fyc. 

26. Superficial Analluvion, is the detritus formed by 
the disintegration of the exposed surfaces of all rocks, and 
remains on or near the place of disintegration. Subdivisions. 
— Clay-loam, when the detritus is fine and adhesive. Gran- 
ulated, when in coarse grains, or friable. The character of 
the soil depends on the character of the rock disintegrated. 

Query — Could not the antediluvial detritus be divided into 
primitive and secondary, as proposed by Mr. Schoolcraft 1 
See Index to the Geology of the Northern States. If this is 
practicable, it would carry us farther back into the history of 
the antediluvial world. The primitive would probably be 
found to contain either no organized remains, or those of ma- 
rine origin only. The secondary alone Would contain the 
antediluvial organic relics. 

Foreign Literature and Science. 369 


I. Foreign.* 

1. Oil of the seed Croton Tiglium. — The great energy 
and efficacy of this medicine have attracted the attention 
of the medical profession, and its effects in many cases in 
which it has been used, have been so powerful and beneficial, 
that it bids fair to become a prominent article of the mate- 
ria medica. A late number of the London Journal of Sci- 
ence and the Arts contains some observations upon this oil 
by Mr. Frost, in which he remarks, that the best manner of 
giving it is in the form of a pill, as by that means the un- 
pleasant feeling about the throat, produced in taking it oth- 
erwise, is avoided. The tiglium seed oil, which is on sale, is 
frequently admixed with olive, castor, or rapeseed oil, which, 
in a medical point of view, is rather an advantage than oth- 
erwise, as it tends to moderate the violence of its action. 
The genuine oil is so powerful as to produce death in the 
dose of a very few drops ; but different samples vary in 
point of strength, which of course depends on the rate of 
active matter which they may contain. The plant is a na- 
tive of the East Indies ; it is a shrub seldom exceeding ten 
feet in height. It belongs to the twenty first class monoe- 
cia, and the eighth order monadelphia of Linnaeus, and to 
the natural order euphorbias of Jussieu. 

The expressed oil of the seed of this plant is entirely so- 
luble in ether and the oil of turpentine, and partially so in 
alcohol. One hundred grains of the seed consisted of 32 
shell and 68 kernel = 100. One hundred grains of the 
seed digested in three drachms of sulphuric ether sp. grav. 
.71 — afforded 25 grains of fixed oil. 

2. Strength of Leaden Pipes. — Experiments on this sub- 
ject have been made at Edinburgh, by Mr. Jardine, at the 
Water Company's yard. The method followed was to close 
one end of a piece of pipe, and then throw water into it by 
a forcing pump attached to the other end, the force or pres- 

* We here insert a number of extracts and abstracts which were prepared, 
as will appear by the dates, some time since — but the articles are still interest- 
ing, and may not have been seen by most of our readers. 

Vol. XIV.— No. 2. 21 

370 Foreign Literature and Science: 

sure being measured by a gague belonging to the pump 
When the water from the injecting pump first begins to 
press out the pipe, little or no alteration is observed on it for 
some time. As the operation proceeds, however, the pipe 
gradually swells throughout its whole length, until at last a 
small protuberance is observed rising in some weak part, 
which increases until the substance of the pipe, becoming 
thinner and thinner, is at last rent asunder, when the pipe 
breaks with a crash, and the water issues with great vio- 

In the first experiment, the pipe was of one and a half 
inch bore, and the metal, which was remarkably soft and 
ductile, one fifth of an inch in thickness. This sustained a 
power equivalent to that of a column of water one thousand 
feet high, equal to thirty atmospheres, or four hundred and 
twenty pounds per square inch of internal surface, without 
alteration ; but with a pressure of water equal to twelve 
hundred feet of water it began to swell, and with fourteen 
hundred feet, or six hundred pounds on the square inch, it 
burst. When measured after the experiment, it was found 
to have swelled until it became of a diameter of one and 
three fourths of an inch. The edges of the fracture were 
not ragged, but smooth and sharp like a knife. 

In a second experiment, the pipe was two inches in diam- 
eter, and one fifth of an inch in thickness. It sustained a 
pressure equal to that of a column of water eight hundred 
feet in height with hardly any swelling, but with one thou- 
sand feet it burst. The fracture here Was not so fine as in 
the former pipe, the metal being much less ductile. — Cale- 
donian Mercury. 

3. Inspiration of Inflammable Gas. — By Signor Giacomo 
Cardone. — This experiment was made in consequence of 
the difference of opinion on the effects of this gas on the 
lungs, entertained by Scheele, Fontana, and others. The 
air being expelled from the lungs as much as possible, the 
mouth-piece of a bladder containing thirty cubic inches of 
the gas was applied to the mouth, and the gas inhaled at two 
inspirations. An oppressive difficulty of respiration, and a dis- 
tressing constriction at the mouth of the stomach were the 
first sensations ; these were followed by abundant perspira- 
tion, a general tremor over the whole body, seeming to com- 
mence at the knees ; an extraordinary sense of heat, slight 

Foreign Literature and Science. 371 

nausea, and violent head-ach. My eyes says Sig. G. beheld 
things but indistinctly, and a deep murmuring sound was in my 
ears. After a short time, all these effects ceased, except that 
of heat, which increased in an alarming manner; but ultimate 
ly by the abundant use of cold drinks I was restored to my 
original state of health. — Giornaledi Fisica, viii. 295. 

4. Artificial Gold a new alloy* — The Hanoverian Mag^ 
azine contains a description by M. Dittmer, of the following 
compound of different metals, prepared by the privy coun- 
sellor, Dr. Hermstadt, which may supply the place of gold, 
not only as to color, but also for its specific gravity and duc- 
tility. The materials consist of sixteen parts, by weight, of 
pure platina, seven parts of copper, and one part of zinc, 
equally pure ; these metals are to be mixed together in a 
crucible, covered with powdered charcoal, and perfectly fu- 
sed, so as to form a homogeneous mass. — Rev. Enc. xxvii. 

5. Comparative analysis of the elastic Bitumen of Eng- 
land and France, by M. Henry the younger. — The French 
bitumen was found in October, 1816, by M. Oliver, in the 
Montrelais, distant a few leagues from Angus, at the depth 
of thirty fathoms, of ophiolite, mixed with veins of quartz 
and carbonate of lime. 

Physical characters of the two bitumens. — 1 . That found 
in Derbyshire is in brown or blackish masses, and lightly 
translucent on the edges, and appears greenish by transmit- 
ted light ; it is more or less elastic ; burns readily with a 
white flame, and exhales a bituminous smell. Its specific 
gravity varies from 0.9052, to 1.233. 

2. The French bitumen presents nearly similar charac- 
ters ; its color is very deep blackish brown, it is opaque, in- 
odorous, moderately compact, compressible, very tenacious, 
and very elastic ; by transmitted light it is rather black than 
greenish. It floats on water, and burns with a clear bluish 
white flame, and a bituminous odor. The composition of 
the two, according to M. Henry's analysis, is per cent. 

*The Franklin Journal contains an article entitled " Mosaiac Gold," ex- 
tracted from the London Journal, giving a long account of this new alloy. 

372 Foreign Literature and Science. 


English elastic bitumen. 


j 7.496 



French elastic do. 




Bulletin des Sciences, 

6. Proportion of Male and Female Children. — M. Bailly, 
of the French Institute, has lately made a series of observa- 
tions connected with the subject of the relative births of 
male and female children. From exact registers kept in 
one locality, it appears, he says, that there were more fe- 
male conceptions than male conceptions in the months of 
March and July ; and these two months, he observes, are, the 
first on account of the occurrence of heat and the second 
on account of the heat of the weather, the part of the year 
least favorable to the activity of the generative powers, at 
least with a view to fecundations. 

7. On the species or varieties in the Human Race. — Lin- 
naeus, in his " Sy sterna Naturae" divided men into four va- 
rieties, according to the color of the skin ; giving each varie- 
ty the name of the part of the world where it was most 
common. Dumeville considers that there were six distinct 
varieties, which he names: 1. Caucasian, or European 
Arabs ; 2. Hyperborean ; 3. Mongolian ; 4. American ; 
5. Malay ; 6. Ethiopian. Cuvier reduced the number of 
varieties to three. Vizey, in his history of man, divided the 
genus into two species, according to the facial angle, noting 
three varieties and sub-varieties to each species. Desmou- 
lins has lately, further divided the genus man into eleven spe- 
cies ; and Bory Saint Vincent, in a very elaborate paper on 
the varieties and species of this genus, has added four other 
species to this extended list ; and has given the peculiarities, 
habits, manners, and appearances of each of the species, 
and an account of their probable origin. He divided the 
genus into two sections ; the first he called Leiotrichi, or 
smooth haired men, which he again sub-divided into those 
which are peculiar to the old world, as 1. Homo Japeticus y 
the sons of Noah, which he divided into several races ; 2. 
Homo Arabicus — the Arabs ; 3. Homo Indicus — the Hin- 

Foreign Literature and Science. 373 

doos ; 4. Homo Scythicus — the Scythians ; 5. Homo Sini- 
cus-the Chinese. Secondly, those smooth haired men which 
are common to the old and new world, as 6. Homo Hyper- 
boreus — the Laplanders ; 7. Homo Neptunianus — the Ma- 
lays and New-Zealanders ; 8. Homo Australasius — the 
New-Hollanders. Thirdly, the straight haired men which 
are peculiar to the new world, as 9. Homo Columbicus — 
the Carribees ; 10. Homo Americanus — the Americans ; 
and 11. Homo Patagonicus — the Patagonians. The sec- 
ond section he designates by the name of Ouloitrichi, or 
crisped haired men ; usually called negroes. The white va- 
rieties of this tribe are not known ; 1 2. Homo Oethiopicus — 
the Ethiopians; 13. Homo Cafer — the Cafre ; 14. Homo 
Melaninus — the Cochin Chinese; and 15. Homo Hotten- 
tottus — the Hottentots. — Ann. Phil. 

8. A new mode of preparing paper for draughtsmen, fyc. 
— Reduce to a powder, and dissolve quickly in a glazed 
earthen vessel, containing cold water, some gum tragacanth, 
having been well worked with a wooden spatula, to free it 
from lumps. There must be a sufficient quantity of water, 
to give to this diluted gum the consistence of a jelly. Paper, 
and some sorts of stuffs upon which this composition is 
smoothly applied, with a pencil or a brush, and dried before 
a gentle fire, will receive either water or oil colors ; in using 
water colors they must be mixed with a solution of the 
above gum. This cloth or paper so prepared, will take 
any color except ink. When it is intended to retouch any 
particular part of the drawing, it should be marked with a 
sponge or clean linen, or a pencil, (containing some of the 
above mentioned liquid ;) if the part is only small, it will 
then rise quickly, and appear as if repainted. — Frank. Jour. 

9. Formation of metallic copper by water and fire. — In 
making cement copper in Germany, plates of solid copper 
are obtained, and also reguline copper in the fibrous, capil- 
lary, dentiform, reniform, and botryoid external shapes ; and 
in the smelting of some sulphurets of copper, fibrous, lamel- 
lar, and crystallized pure copper is formed. — Edin. Phil. Jour. 

10. On the poison of the common Toad. — The following 
is an abstract of Dr. Davy's paper on this subject, lately 
read before the Royal Society. 

374 Foreign Literature and Science. 

The popular belief in the venomous nature of the toad, 
Dr. Davy states although of great antiquity, has been rejec- 
ted as a vulgar prejudice by modem naturlists ; decidedly so 
by Cuvier ; but like many other long received and preva- 
lent opinions, it is a true one, and the denial of it by philo- 
sophers, has resulted from superficial examination. Dr. D. 
found the venomous matter to be contained in follicles, chiefly 
in the cutis vera, and about the head and shoulders, but 
also distributed generally over the body and even on the ex- 
tremities. On the application of pressure, this fluid exudes, 
or even spirts out, to a considerable distance, and may be 
collected in sufficient quantity for examination. It is ex- 
tremely acrid when applied to the tongue, resembling the 
aconite in this respect, and it even acts upon the hands. It 
is soluble, with a small residuum, in water and in alcohol ; and 
the solutions are not affected by those of acetate of lead, 
and of corosive sublimate. After solution in ammonia it con- 
tinues acrid ; it dissolves in nitric acid, to which it imparts a 
purple color. By combination with potash or soda, it is ren- 
dered less acrid, apparently by decomposition. As left by 
evaporation of its aqueous or alcoholic solutions, it is highly 
inflammable, and the residuary matter that appears to give it 
consistence seems to be albumen. Though more acrid than 
the poison of the most venomous serpents, it produces no 
effect, on being introduced into the circulation ; a chicken 
inoculated with it was not affected. The author conjec- 
tures that this " sweltered venom," as it is correctly termed 
by our great dramatist, being distributed over the integu- 
ments, serves to defend the toad from the attacks of carniv- 
orous animals ; "to eat a toad" has long been held as an 
opprobrious difficulty ; and the animal is still further pro- 
tected in this respect by the horny nature of its cutis, which 
contains much phosphate of lime, &c. As the venom con- 
sists, in part, of an inflammable substance, it is properly ex- 
crementitious, and an auxiliary to the action of the lungs in 
decarbonising the blood. This view of its use is confirmed 
by the fact, that one of the two branches of the pulmonary 
artery supplies the skin, its ramifications being most nume- 
rous where the follicles of venom are thickest. Dr. Davy 
finds the skin of the toad to contain pores of two kinds ; the 
larger, chiefly confined to particular situations, and which, 
when the skin is held up to the light, appear as iridescent 
circles, and the smaller more numerously and generally dis- 

Foreign Literature and Science. 375 

tributed, which appear as luminous points of a yellowish 
color. Externally, these pores are covered with cuticle, and 
some of the larger ones even with rete mucosum ; internally 
they are lined with delicate cellular tissue. By inflating 
the skin Dr. D. ascertained that it was not furnished with 
spiracula, the existence of which he had been led to suspect 
by some particular circumstances in the physiology of the 
animal. — Ann. of Phil. 

1 1 . Opposite effects of a change of density of the air, as 
affecting the going of a clock. — Davies Gilbert, Esq. M.P. a 
short time ago published some ingenious investigations on 
the vibrations of pendulums, and shewed, that on a change 
of an inch in the height of the barometer, an astronomical 
clock ought to change its rate, in consequence of the altera- 
tion in the buoyancy of the air, by two tenths of a second a 
day. Having applied to Mr. Pond and Dr. Brinkley, to ex- 
amine this point, he was surprised to find they had discovered 
no such change. On reconsidering the subject, he finds a 
cause which before he had supposed too small to have any 
effect, almost exactly counteracting the effect of the change 
of buoyancy. This cause is the alteration of the arc, by the 
altered resistance of the air. He remarks : " It is an ex- 
tremely curious circumstance, that, without any reference to 
the attainment of this balance between opposite disturbing 
causes, our clocks should have been fortuitously made to vi- 
brate, very nearly in the arc which reduces them to equality." 
For the mathematical investigations and tables illustrative of 
this singular coincidence, we must refer to the Quarterly 
Journal of Science for October. — Dub. Phil. Jour. — Ed. 
Phil. Jour. 

1 2. Distribution of land and water. — From the unequal 
distribution of the continents and seas, the southern hemis- 
phere has long been represented as eminently aquatic ; but 
the same inequality makes its appearance, when we consider 
the globe divided, not in the direction of the equator, but in 
that of the meridians. The great masses of land are col- 
lected between the meridians of 1 0° to the west, and 1 50° 
to the east of Paris; while the peculiarly aquatic hemisphere 
commences to the westward, with the meridian of the coasts 
of Greenland, and terminates to the east with the meridian 
of the eastern shores of New Holland and the Kurile Isles, 

376 Foreign Literature and Science. 

This unequal distribution of the land and water, exercises 
the greatest influence upon the distribution of heat at the 
surface of the globe, upon the inflections of the isothermal 
lines, and upon the phenomena of climate in general. With 
reference to the inhabitants of the centre of Europe, the 
aquatic hemisphere may be called western, and the terrestrial 
hemisphere eastern, because in proceeding westward, we 
come sooner to the former than to the latter. Until the end 
of the fifteenth century, the western hemisphere was as little 
known to the inhabitants of the eastern hemisphere, as a half 
of the lunar globe is at present, and probably, will always 
remain, with respect to us. — Humboldt, Ed. Phil. Jour. 

1 3. Notice regarding steatite or soapstone, and its princi- 
pal uses. — Steatite is, as is well known, a variety of the talc 
genus. Its color is white, green, or grey ; it is also some- 
times, though rarely, red and yellow. Its specific gravity va- 
ries from 2.60 to 2.66. It is a compound of silica, alumina, 
magnesia, and oxide of iron and water, which vary according 
to the locality. It is very common in Cornwall and Germa- 
ny. As it is fusible only at an exceedingly high temper- 
ature, and is easily wrought, excellent crucibles may be 
made of it, which are further hardened by fire, and which 
are only with great difficulty penetrated by litharge. It is 
also employed in making moulds for melting metals. In 
England it is used in the manufacture of porcelain. M. Vil- 
cot, an artist of Liege, made several trials of it, with the 
view of finding out whether it might not be susceptible of 
being employed by the lapidaries. He prepared cameos of 
this substance, the color of which he brightened in the fire, 
and which he rendered so hard by the elevation of the tem- 
perature, as to give sparks with steel. They were then col- 
ored, yellow, grey, or milk white, by different solutions. He 
polished them upon the stone, and ended with making them 
assume all the lustre of agate. Some pieces even resem- 
bled onyx in color, but a serious inconvenience was, that the 
markings were easily altered by the fire, and could no longer 
be restored. Steatite has a great affinity for glass ; it is also 
employed, in the manner of paste, reduced to a fine powder, 
and mixed with coloring matters, for painting upon this sub- 
stance. It also serves for a sympathetic crayon for writing 
upon glass ; the traces seem effaced when a piece of woollen 
cloth is passed over them, but they reappear immediately 
when moistened by the breath, and again disappear when the 

Foreign Literature and Science. 377 

glass becomes dry. Steatite is not so easily effaced as chalk, 
and does not, like that substance, change its colors. Tailors 
and embroiderers also prefer it to chalk, for marking silk. It 
possesses the property of uniting with oils and fat bodies, 
and enters into the composition of the greater number of 
balls which are employed for cleaning silks and woollen 
cloths ; it also forms the basis of some preparations of paint. 
It is employed also for giving lustre to marble, serpentine and 
gypseous stones. Mixed with oil, it is employed to polish mir- 
rors of metal and crystal. When leather, recently prepared, 
is sprinkled with steatite, to give it color, and afterwards, 
when the whole is dry, it is rubbed several times with a piece 
of horn, the leather assumes a very beautiful polish. Stea- 
tite is also used in the preparation of glazed paper ; it is re- 
duced to a very fine powder, and spread out upon the paper, 
or it is better to mix it previously with the coloring matter. 
The glaze is then given to the paper with a hard brush. It 
facilitates the action of screws, and from its unctuosity, may 
be employed with much advantage, for diminishing the fric- 
tion of the parts of machines which are made of metal.* 

14. Botany. — M. Ramond on the Vegetation of the summit 
of the Pyrenees. — In a memoir on this subject read at the 
Academy of Sciences on the 16th of Jan. 1826, M. Ramond 
remarks, that, from the base of a high mountain to its sum- 
mit, the vegetation presents a foreshortened view of the 
same modifications, which are observed from the same base 
to the Poles. In proof of this, M. Ramond describes the Pic 
du Midi, which rises fifteen hundred toises above the level 
of the sea. On its summit, the barometer stands between 
nineteen inches and twenty inches three lines. The great- 
est height of the thermometer, in summer, does nor exceed 
62° or 63° of Farenheit. Hence M. Ramond concludes 
that the temperature of the Pic du Midi varies between the 
same limits as in regions situated between 65° and 70° of 
latitude. " I have ascended," says M. Ramond, " thirty 
five times into this island, lost in the middle of the vast 
ocean of air, and I have remarked that not a flower appears 
till the summer solstice. The spring, consequently, does not 
begin at that height till the summer has commenced at the 
foot of the mountain." This peak is accessible only during 

* See a notice of this use, vol. 13, p. 192, of this Journal 

Vol. XIV.— No. 2. 22 

378 Foreign Literature and Science. 

three months of the year. The month of September is the 
most convenient for ascending it. In July and August, it is 
not uncommon to see snow fall, which remains for a long 

M. Ramond, even in that climate, has collected one hun- 
dred and thirty species of cryptogamic, or phanerogamous 
plants, which preserve themselves under the snow. On a 
small spot, accidentally laid bare, he observed seven spe- 
cies of plants which vegetate vigorously, . 

It is a curious circumstance, that the species observed in 
the Pic du Midi, are related to the same genera as the spe- 
cies collected by Captain Parry in Melville Island, near the 
Pole. This island, notwithstanding its extent, presents only 
one hundred and thirteen species, which is seventeen less 
than M. Ramond has collected on the Pic. In the Island, 
as on the Pic, there is only one shrub, which is the willow, 
reduced to the same dimensions. The climate is not so rig- 
orous, on the Pic as on the Polar Islands. Tire winters are 
certainly less severe, but the summers are not more warm. 
Leaving the summit of the mountain, M. Ramond describes 
the modifications which vegetation experiences as we de- 
scend towards its base ; and he speaks particularly of cer- 
tain vegetables belonging to warmer latitudes, which are 
found in very limited spaces. If we do not admit that these 
plants prove the existence of ancient communications with 
the countries to which their species belong, we must recog- 
nize an alarming number of particular creations. M. Ra- 
mond endeavors to explain these facts by geological consid- 
erations, which, however, he offers only as a simple hypothe- 
sis. — he Globe, Jan. 19, 1826, Tome iii. No. xiii. p. 62. 

1 5. Polar Fogs. — The fogs that pervade the Arctic seas, 
in the summer months, have been generally supposed to be 
produced by the moist air depositing its vapor in conse- 
quence of being chilled by contact with the seas, fyc. But 
Dr. Wells (on dew,) proves that dew and hoar-frosts, 
result only from air, perfectly or imperfectly saturated with 
moisture, coming in contact with a cooler body. Dr. James 
Hutton, (Trans. Roy. Soc. Edin. Vol. I.) has shewn that 
volumes of air, of unequal temperatures, and holding mois- 
ture in solution, must be mingled to produce mist and fog ; 
and the circumstances of the arctic seas, appear to be in 
perfect accordance with these conditions. 

Foreign Literature and Science. 379 

Before the end of June, the shoals of ice are usually di- 
vided and scattered ; and the temperature of these icebergs 
is evidently lower than that of the surrounding water, and 
will therefore impart a corresponding influence to the air ; 
therefore, the atmosphere resting on the interrupted surface 
of the ocean, will be warmer than that in the immediate vi- 
cinity of the icebergs. This cooling influence too, in con- 
sequence of its elevation considerably above the sea's sur- 
face, will be diffused, not only by radiation upwards, but 
horizontally into the surrounding air. The portion of at- 
mosphere between two or more neighboring pieces of ice, 
will necessarily be, in the middle, of higher temperature than 
in the immediate vicinity of the ice, which must present con- 
siderable inequalities of temperature, affecting the surround- 
ing air ; of which numerous examples are found in accounts 
of Polar voyages ; and Captain Franklin, particularly, re- 
marks, " the temperature of the surface of the water was 
35° when among the ice, 38° when just clear of it, and 41° 
S' at two miles distant," consequently, such unequal distri- 
bution of temperature will produce the effect stated, and 
the density of such mist or fog, will depend on the quantity 
of vapor contained in the air, and the differences of the in- 
termingling temperatures. 

The elevations of the mist will also be regulated by the 
height of the masses of ice ; and, accordingly, Capt. Ross re- 
marks, " the fog was extremely thick upon the surface of the 
sea, but at the mast-head, and at the top of the iceberg it was 
perfectly clear" Capt. Scoresby too, in his paper read be- 
fore the Wernerian Society on the fogs of the Polar Seas, al- 
ludes to this definite elevation, and to the clearness of the 
supervening sky. Two icebergs may, however, be so sit- 
uated, that their reciprocal horizontal radiations may cool the 
air between them, and reduce it to nearly a uniform tempe- 
ture, thus preventing the formation of mist. 

16. Mode of preserving wooden buildings from the effects 
of fire, invented by Dr. Fuchs, Professor of Mineralogy 
in Munich. — The following is the process; ten parts of potash 
or soda ; fifteen parts of quartz (sand,) and one part char- 
coal, are melted together. This mass, dissolved in water, 
and either alone or mixed with earthy matters, applied, to 
wood, completely preserves it from the action of fire.— Ed- 
.Phil. Jour. 

380 Foreign Literature and Science. 

Foreign Literature and Science; extracted by Prof. J. 

17. Premiums awarded by the French Academy. — At a 
public session of the Academy, on the 25th of August, 1827, 
at which M. Picard presided, the prize of Eloquence was 
divided between M. M. Girardin and Patin. Two other dis- 
courses were honorably mentioned. 

The prize of Poetry was decreed to Pierre- Augusto Le- 
maire, adjunct professor of the university. The subject was 
the heroism of unfortunate Greece. 

On the termination of the literary session, M. Picard read 
the report on the prizes founded by M. de Montyon. Agree- 
ably to the will of this benevolent individual, the Academy 
decreed eleven prizes to the same number of females, for 
acts of the most disinterested virtue during the preceding 
year. The prizes to each person varied from three thou- 
sand francs to five hundred francs, according to the merit of 
the acts for which they were assigned. The females who 
received these honorable testimonials of virtuous deeds, re- 
side in different parts of France. 

The prizes to be bestowed upon the authors of ivorks most 
useful to the public morals were then decreed. 1st, a prize 
of six thousand francs for the work of Madame Guizot, en- 
titled, Education dpmestique, ou Lettresde famille surP edu- 
cation, 2 vols. 8vo ; 2d, a prize of four thousand francs to the 
work of M. Alibert, first physician in ordinary to the king, 
entitled, Physiologie des passions, ou Nouvelle doctrine des 
sentimens moraux, 2 vols. 8vo ; 3d, a prize of three thousand 
francs to the work of M. Merville, entitled, Les deux ap- 
prentis, 4 vols. 1 2mo ; intended by the author for the benefit 
of young artizans, in order to divert them from the shame and 
disgrace attendant upon disorderly conduct and the frequent- 
ing of bad company. 

Premiums of a similar nature will be decided in the ensu- 
ing year ; and in addition to these , from the funds left by 
M. Montyon, the following: 1st, for 1828, a prize of six thou- 
sand francs, on a question of morals, the particular subject 
to be left to the author. 2d, for 1829, a prize of eight thou- 
sand francs, on this subject — l CIiarity, considered in its prin- 
ciples, its applications, and its influence on morals and social 
economy. 3d, for 1830, a prize of ten thousand francs, on 

Foreign Literature and Science. 381 

the following ; On the influence of laws over morals, or of 
morals over laivs. — Rev. Encyc. Aout, 1827. 

1 8. University of Halle. — Jubilee Fete of Chancellor Nie- 
meyer, — On the 1 8th and 1 9th of April last, there was cele- 
brated in this University one of those fetes which in Germa- 
ny is dedicated to distinguished men, and which are peculiar 
to the literary establishments of that country. It was on ac- 
count of the fiftieth anniversary of the promotion of M. Nie- 
meyer to the doctorate of philosophy. This aged and res- 
pectable man is well known by his valuable works on educa- 
tion, and he has held for a long time, the station of chancel- 
lor of the University of Halle. All Germany wished to avail 
itself of what is called the jubilee of the doctorate, to furnish 
this servant with a testimonial of public esteem and grati- 
tude. The Prussian minister of state, two bishops, and ma- 
ny other functionaries attended the fete. On the eve of the 
18th, the children of the Latin school, planted two young 
oaks behind the monument of Franck, a professor pronoun- 
ced a discourse, and the scholars sung a hymn. The next 
morning the chancellor received the felicitations of an im- 
mense crowd of citizens and strangers, as well as various de- 
putations of the learned bodies of Prussia, and other parts 
of Germany, Austria excepted. The deputation of the uni- 
versity sent him a Latin poem, and that of the faculty of 
theology, a programme, or public dissertation on the subject 
of the fete. The deputation of the city, conducted by the 
burgomaster, presented him with a civic crown of oak leaves 
in silver imitation. The Franck institution had struck a 
gold medal, with this inscription ; Alteri conditori suo ante 
hos L. ann. creato doct. phil. instit. Franckiana Hal. A. 
MDCCCXXVII d. XVIII. April The other institutions, 
caused to be presented or recited by the masters and by 
about one thousand four hundred children, of both sexes, 
portions of Latin and German poetry. All the public au- 
thorities of the province, sent in like manner, their felicita- 
tions by deputies. The president of the regency, in the 
name of twenty-three public Prussian functionaries, sent to 
the venerable man a silver vase, with the inscription ; A. H. 
Niemeyerwn dejuventute sua optime meritum viri venerantur. 
Another deputy offered him, in the name of sixty Mecklen- 
burgians, pupils of the university, a beautiful porcelain vase 
of the Royal manufactory of Berlin, with these words ; Vi- 

382 Foreign Literature and Science. 

rorum erga A. H. Niemeyer de se juvenibus optime meri- 
turn pietatis pignus. 

At 1 1 o'clock, M. Niemeyer was conducted into the great 
hall of the university, in the midst of a brilliant assembly, 
where he was addressed by Professor Schutz an octagena- 
rian. The curator of the university then gave him a letter 
of congratulation on the part of the king, accompanied by a 
magnificent porcelain vase, on which was painted a portrait 
of his majesty and a view of Potsdam. The king, by a deli- 
cate attention, had chosen this day for granting a sum of 
forty thousand thalers for the construction of new buildings 
for the university. Several discourses were pronounced, and 
the congratulations of the various universities of Germany, 
were made known, as well as the public dissertations on ac- 
count of the solemnity. 

At 2 o'clock, the University gave a banquet of one hundred 
and sixty covers to the heroes of the feast. The celebrated 
philologist, Hermann, of Leipzig, had composed for the oc- 
casion some Latin verses ; others were recited in German. 
The next day, at the request of the burgesses, M. Niemeyer 
pronounced a sermon in the church of St. Mary, in which 
were executed several choruses of the composition of Han- 
del. On the same day, M. Niemeyer gave a fete to the uni- 
versity, which was terminated by a soiree, attended by more 
than two hundred persons. 

Not less than twelve remarkable works have been men- 
tioned, which the savans in different parts of Germany have 
brought forward on the occasion of this jubilee. The orien- 
talist, Gesenius, has dedicated to M. Niemeyer, the first por- 
tion of his great work ; Thesaurus lingua Hebrcece et Chal- 
d<B03. — Idem. 

19. Chlorine and Chlorides. — About a year after the dis- 
covery of chlorine by Scheele, the distinguished Swedish 
chemist, Guyton De Morveau was very successful at Dijon, 
in endeavoring by means of muriatic acid fumigations, to 
purify a church, rendered very infectious by cadaverous ex- 
halations, and also a prison in which typhus had made 
some progress. Some years after, the same means were 
employed to enable the laborers to remove, without danger, 
the putrid masses which had been for many generations, col- 
lecting in the burial place of the Innocents ; in 1792, Four- 
croy made use of it, to disinfect the dissecting rooms and 

Foreign Literature and Science. 383 

hospital wards of Paris. Guyton De Morveau, after some 
further experiments, contrived a small disinfecting apparatus, 
which had considerable success ; and about 1809, M. Mas- 
suyer was the first who employed liquid chloride of lime, in 
purifying the military hospital of Strasburg. 

Nothing further was done until the society of encourage- 
ment, at the request of the Prefect of the Seine, proposed 
in 1820, a premium for the invention of a method, either 
chemical or mechanical, of fabricating catgut from animal 
intestines, without injury from the putrid fermentations which 
render the workshops of this manufactory so unhealthy. M. 
Labarraque, an apothecary at Paris, first solved this prob- 
lem, and obtained the prize. He proposed the use of chlo- 
ride of lime, and has ever since been engaged in the per- 
fection of his first process, in propagating the value of the 
chlorides and extending their applications. Instructed by 
his first trials, and guided by a just and acute spirit of ob- 
servation, he has pointed out their uses in exhumations, and 
in all cases in which putrid exhalations may vitiate the at- 
mosphere. He has rendered an invaluable service to hu- 
manity and the arts, not only in applying the fumigations of 
chlorine to operations which it frees from all danger, but in 
turning the attention of men to an agent, the employment 
of which, may have an immense influence upon life and 
health. Since the labors of Labarraque, M. Wallace has 
recommended gaseous chlorine, mixed with aqueous vapour, 
as an external application, against chronic affections of the 
abdominal viscera, and especially those of the liver. M. 
Roche has announced to the society of medicine, that in 
less than three months, he had cured by means of the chlo- 
ride of soda, a scaldhead, which for eleven years had resis- 
ted all other kinds of treatment. M. M. Cullerier and 
Gorse have successfully employed chloride of soda, in the 
cure of syphilitic ulcers, which spread an infectious odour, 
and in general against wounds and ulcers of a putrid and 
gangrenous character. M. Labarraque and others have 
shewn its efficacy in cases of asphixia from privies and other 
foul places ; the agricultural society of la Charente has re- 
commended it as very salutary in stables, and cases of dis- 
eased cattle, and learned physicians have announced, that 
they were upon the track of a discovery of the highest inter- 
est to humanity, by the employment of chlorides in diseases 
of the lungs. May this hope not be disappointed. — Rev. 
Ency. Nov. 1827. 

384 Foreign Literature and Science. 

20. Analysis of Tourmaline. — Until 1318, chemists had 
made fruitless endeavors to explain the character which dis- 
tinguishes the tourmaline from other minerals. Breithaupt 
sought to prove from theoretical considerations, that bora- 
cic acid was a principal constituent. In his opinion, boracite, 
tourmaline, anatase and axinite belong to one family, which 
he called the schorl family, although these minerals have not 
the same crystalline system. The first actual discovery of 
boracic acid in tourmaline, was by an apothecary of Briinn, 
whose name is Petke. 

The following is the method of analysis adopted by C. G. 

The mineral, reduced to fine powder, was mixed with car- 
bonate of barytes and strongly heated. The mass was then 
dissolved in a sufficient quantity of muriatic acid, and the so- 
lution was evaporated to dryness on a sand bath. M. Gme- 
lin assured himself, by direct experiment, that at this tem- 
perature, the quantity of boracic acid which is volatilized is so 
small, that it may be safely neglected. The silica was ob- 
tained in the usual way, in treating the residuum of the 
evaporation with water. Carbonate of ammonia was ad- 
ded to the fluid, which was then filtered, evaporated to 
dryness, and heated gradually to a feeble redness. In this 
way, the boracic acid was retained in combination with the 
ammonia, and no aqueous acid vapour could be disenga- 
ged during the calcination, as in the decomposition of sul- 
phate of ammonia. The residue, after being weighed, was 
sprinkled with alcohol mixed with a little muriatic acid, and 
the alcohol, being separated, was set on fire. The same op- 
eration was repeated, until no trace whatever of green could 
be perceived in the flame. 

All the boracic acid which had combined with the ammo- 
nia, and which had afterwards been separated from it by the 
heat, was thus obtained. The residue again heated and 
weighed, shewed by its loss, the quantity of boracic acid. 

The quantity of boracic acid which M. Gmelin found in 
tourmaline of different kinds varied, from nearly two to more 
than five per cent. Some tourmalines contain lithia to the 
amount of 2.04 per cent. Soda and potash, or at least one of 
them are also constituents.- An. de Ch. andde Ph. Nov. 1827. 

21. Capillary Action. — It has been found by M. Emmet, 
that in a glass tube, in which water rose to 4.575 inches, a 

Foreign Literature and Science. 385 

nearly saturated solution of sub. carbonate of potash rose 
4.45 inches ; concentrated muratic acid 3.35 inches ; one 
part of sugar in 4 of water to 3.25 ; one part of alcohol in 
10 of water to 3.2 ; concentrated alcohol to 1.95. In an- 
other tube in which water rose to .4 inches, nitric acid rose 
to .3 ; pure fish oil to .15 ; oil of lavender to .15. 

In a tube in which cold water rose to 2.45, boiling water 
rose only to 2.05; cold concentrated alcohol .95; boiling 
.875; water, mixed with snow 2.25, heated to 70° F. 2.1 ; at 
the boiling point 1.8. — Bui. Univ. Juittet, 1827. - 

22. Intense Light. — It is stated by M. Pleischl, that hy- 
drate of lime, pulverised and exposed upon charcoal to a 
stream of oxygen, through a blow-pipe with an orifice ^ inch 
in diameter, fed by a common lamp, gives the most intense 
light. He attributes this to a sort of pulverulent atmos- 
phere, which the lime disengages at that temperature. Sub- 
stances which do not emit molecules in a gaseous state can- 
not produce so vivid an incandescence. — Idem. 

23. Solubility of Silex. — When the liquor of flints is treat- 
ed with an excess of acid, silex remains in the liquor com- 
bined with the acid. The carbonic acid even has the prop- 
erty of holding silex in solution, especially at a certain tem- 
perature. It is in this state, that silex is found in a great 
number of mineral waters, from which it is deposited only at 
the surface, as the water cools and the carbonic acid escapes. 
The solubility of silex, recently precipitated, in carbonic 
acid, is the cause of its presence remaining so long unsus- 
pected in a great number of combinations. — Ibid. 

24. Theory of Nitrification. — M. Longchamps has en- 
deavored to prove (Annales de Chimie et de Phys. Sept. 
1826,) that the oxygen and azote of the air, in contact with 
calcareous substances, sufficiently porous, under the influ- 
ence of humidity and heat, are competent for the produc- 
tion of nitric acid, without the concurrence of animal mat- 
ters. Gay Lussac has disputed this point with M. Long- 
champs, (Annales de Chimie de Janvier 1827,) which has oc- 
casioned an animated controversy between them, and a let- 
ter from the latter to the minister of war, the marquis de 
Clermont- Tonnere, requesting him to name a commission to 

Vol. XIV.— No. 2. 23 

386 Foreign Literature and Science. 

try this matter. The minister has refused to accede to this 
request, on the ground that the theory is purely speculative, 
and not supported by any direct or positive experiments. 

It may be observed however, that a great number of facts 
and experiments, ancient and recent, such as the production 
of ammonia by the azote of the air, &c. appears to justify 
the theory of M. Longchamps. T. Graham, in an article 
in the Philosophical Mag. (March 1827,) adopts this theory 
with the following addition : he thinks that the carbonic 
acid of the air, being dissolved as well as this air, in the hygro- 
metric water of the porous carbonate of lime, reacts upon 
the latter salt, and dissolves a part of it ; that this solution 
of lime, being in the presence of oxygen and azote, is favor- 
ably situated for the production of nitrate of lime. He cites, 
in support of this, the experiments of Thouvenel, and he 
thinks that the putrefaction of organic matter, by the pro- 
duction of carbonic acid, favours, to a great extent, the pro- 
gress of nitrification. — Ibid. 

25. New Compounds of Bromine. — M. Serullas has discov- 
ered, that bromine becomes solid at a temperature between 
18° and 20° (cent.) below zero. At 20° it is very hard and 
brittle. In putting two parts of bromine in contact with 
one of hydrioduret of carbon, there was a sudden formation 
of bromuret of iodine and hydro-carburet of bromine. 
These can be separated by means of water, which dissolves 
the first only. The second, washed with a weak solution of 
potash, is a colorless liquid, denser than water, with a pene- 
trating and ethereal odour, an excessively sweet taste, and 
very volatile. It was this product that M. Balard obtained, 
by thrpwing a drop of bromine into a flask full of defiant 
was. The hydro-carburet of bromine is solid between 5 6 
and 6° cent, above zero. It is then hard and brittle like 

The author obtained hydro-bromic ether, by putting into 
a retort forty parts of strong alcohol, one of phosphorus, 
and then seven or eight of brome. The action is very rapid. 
The distilled liquor being diluted with water, leaves, at the 
bottom hydro-bromic ether, in a separate state. It is color- 
less, heavier than water, of a strong ethereal odour, and pun- 
gent taste, soluble in alcohol, and insoluble in water. 
3 One part of bromine, added to two parts of cyanuret of 
mercury, gives bromuret of mercury and cyanuret of bro- 

Foreign Literature and Science. 387 

mine. The latter crystallizes and may be distilled. It be- 
comes gaseous at 1 5°, has a pungent odour, is soluble in wa- 
ter and alcohol, and is excessively deleterious. — Ibid. 

26. Formation of Ammonia. — Note by M. Chevalier. — 
Two ounces of clean turnings of iron were heated in a cov- 
ered crucible, and when cool, were introduced with an ounce 
of water into a flask, the beak of which dipped into mercu- 
ry. After an exposure of ten hours, it gave signs of alca- 
linity ; and four days afterwards, the water saturated by 
muriatic acid, produced a very sensible quantity of muriate 
of ammonia. The natural oxides of iron all contain it ; and 
one hundred and fifty grammes of red hematite pulverised, 
furnished two grammes of hydro -chlorate of ammonia. The 
ferruginous waters of Passy- also contain ammonia. These 
facts ought to be added to those already known with regard 
to the formation of ammonia by the azote of the air. — Ibid. 

27. Fluoric Acid and Fluates. — Chemists are divided in 
opinion on the nature of fluoric acid. Some, with Berzelius, 
consider it as a compound of fluor and oxygen, — others, of 
fluor and hydrogen. If fluor spar is a compound of lime 
(calcium and oxygen,) and fluoric acid (fluor and oxygen,) 
in attacking it with concentrated sulphuric acid, there is a 
formation of sulphate of lime, a disengagement of fluoric 
acid (fluoric and oxygen,) and a disengagement of the wa- 
ter previously combined with the sulphuric acid. If fluor 
spar is simply a fluoride of calcium, on attacking it with 
concentrated sulphuric acid, one portion of the water of 
the acid will be decomposed ; its oxygen will unite with the 
calcium, and produce lime, which will form sulphate of lime, 
and the hydrogen, uniting with the fluor, will produce a hy- 
dracid, which escapes in the gaseous form. The question 
has remained hitherto undetermined, from the difficulty of 
getting clear of the action of the water. But, M. Kuhlmann 
having thought of treating fluor spar with anhydrous sulphu- 
ric acid, found that the acid was not decomposed ; a proof 
that fluor spar is a true fluoride of calcium, and fluoric acid 
a real hydracid.— Ibid. 

28. Emigration of Butterflies. — A singular phenomenon 
was observed, in June last, by a respectable family of Neuf- 
chatel, (Switzerland,) while at their country seat in the dis- 

388 Foreign Literature and Science. 

trict of Grandson, (Canton de Vaud.) On the 8th or 10th 
of that month, Madame de Meuron Wolfe, saw with surprise, 
a crowd of objects flying by the window of their dining hall, 
which from their number excited her attention, but distrust- 
ing her own sight, she called her son to observe what was 
passing upon the terrace. 

It proved to be an immense crowd of butterflies, which 
were crossing the garden with the greatest rapidity. The 
family left the table to see the curiosity, and although not 
naturalists, they could but admire the beautiful spectacle. 
The butterflies were all of one description and among the 
most beautiful of our country. They were caught very easi- 
ly in a net, and were recognized as the thistle butterfly, called 
in French, the belle-dame. They all flew in the same direc- 
tion, traversing the garden diagonally, and exactly from south 
to north. The presence of man did not affright them, and 
they flew very near each other. 

The stream continued more than two hours, without any 
interruption, from the moment of their perceiving them, and 
it is probable they had been passing some time before they 
were noticed. The column was ten or twelve feet in breadth ; 
they did not rest upon the flowers ; — their flight was low, ra- 
pid, and equal. Such is the unanimous account given me 
by the family, who examined the novelty with that kind of 
interest which neglects no characteristic circumstance. 

But the most singular thing in this fact, is, that it concerns 
a kind of butterfly, the caterpillars of which never live in com- 
pany, (at least in our country,) and are isolated on leaving 
the egg. I should have been less surprised, had it been the 
Petite-tortue, Paon de jour, or Morio, the caterpillars of 
which live in common and in very numerous families upon 
the nettle and willow tree. What singular cause could have 
produced the union of the Belle-dames, separate from their 
birth, in so numerous a phalanx, and occasioned them to 
leave their country, for a northern climate, mountainous and 
severe ? From what region did they come, and in what place 
will they rest ? 

So striking a fact should have excited attention in other 
places, for in reality these same butterflies have been seen in 
Piedmont, by Professor Bonelli, of the Academy of Turin, at 
a period anterior to that of their being seen in Switzerland. 
According to his relation, in a letter addressed to Mr. Mori- 
cand, of the 13th of June, 1827, the appearance of the Pa- 

Foreign Literature and Science. 389 

pilio Cardui, took place at the end of March, 1826, in the 
neighborhood of Turin. On leaving Turin, they took a di- 
rection en masse, from south to north. Where there were 
any flowers, the air was filled with them, and in the evening 
the plants were covered. They were the most numerous on 
the 29th of March, and were seen in great numbers on many 
successive days, After that their numbers sensibly diminish- 
ed, but some remained even till June. 

This beautiful butterfly, without being rare, is not common 
in our country, but possessing a knowledge of these facts, I 
have this year observed with astonishment, an incredible 
number of insects in the districts of Grandson and Yverdon, 
and what is more singular, is, that this is not the usual time 
of their appearing, which is the end of summer or autumn. 

I have found a great number also at the foot of the moun- 
tains, and even upon the Jura, where their brilliancy contri- 
buted much to the embellishment of nature. — Bib. Univ. 
Aoust, 1827. 

29. Rewards of Science. — The Academy of Sciences at 
Paris, have granted from the funds left for that purpose by 
the Baron Moutyon, the following prizes : — 

To Pelletier and Caventou, to whom the healing art is in- 
debted for the discovery of Sulphate of Quinine ; 1 0,000 

To M. Civiale, as having first practised on the living sub- 
ject, lithotrity, and for having operated with success, by this 
method on many calculous patients ; 10,000 francs. 

For the second edition of the work of M. Laennec, enti- 
tled ; De 1' Auscultation mediate ; 5.000 francs. 

To M. Le Roi d 1 Etioles, for his exposition of the vari- 
ous methods employed for curing the stone without recourse 
to the operation of cutting ; 2,000 francs. 

To M. Henri (Ossian,) for having perfected the art of ex- 
tracting Sulphate of Quinine, and much lessened the com- 
mercial value of that salt ; 2,000 francs. 

To M. Rostan, for the work entitled, Cours de Medecine 
Clinique ; 1 ,500 francs. 

To M. Gendrin, for his Histoire anatomique des inflamma- 
tions ; 1,500 francs. 

To M. Bretonneau, for his Traite des Inflammations spe- 
ciales du tissu muqueux ; 1 ,500 francs. 

To M. Ollivier d' Angers, for his Traite de la Moelle 
epiniere et de ses maladies ; 1,500 francs. 

390 Foreign Literature and Science. 

l a 

To M. Bayle, for the Traite des maladies du cerveau el 
de ses membranes ; 1 ,500. 

To M. Rochoux, to aid him in printing his Recherches sur 
les differentes maladies, qu'on appelle jievre jaune ; 1 ,000 
francs. — Idem. 

30. Sulphate of Quinine. — This valuable compound was 
first prepared by the authors of its discovery ; but the con- 
sumption increasing, Pelletier, Robiquet, and Levaillant en- 
gaged in it in the large way in their chemical manufacto- 
ries. It would be difficult to ascertain rigorously, the num- 
ber, origin, and importanqe of the establishments in which 
the sulphate of quinine is at this moment prepared ; but to 
give the academy at least a proximate idea, we will here 
state the numerical results of the work of two fabrics during 
the year 1826 ; the one is that of one of us, M. Pelletier ; 
the other, that of M. Levaillant ; this pharmacentical-chem- 
ist, has obligingly communicated the amount of his registers. 
Bark, (Quinquina) treated by M. Pelletier on his cwt. 
own private account, 276 

treated by M. Pelletier in company with 

August Delondre, 460 

by Levaillant for M. Delondre, 420 

by Levaillant for himself and various capi- 
talists, 437 

Total, 1593 

The various barks made use of were not equally rich in 
Quinine ; some barks gave 3 gros, 50 grs. of sulphate ; oth- 
ers, very light, furnished but 2 gros ; but the sulphato of quin- 
ine was identical ; the mean of the results was 3 gros of 
sulphate of quinine to the pound of quinquina equal to a 
_2 s_^ w hich furnishes in 1826 a mass of 59,057 ounces of 
sulphate of quinine by the two factories alluded to. We 
are certain of being below the truth, in admitting that the 
amount manufactured by all the other chemists in France 
has been equal to the quantity made by one of us, viz. 
31,000 ounces, corresponding to 80,000 lbs. of quinquina ; 
we have then 90,000 ounces of sulphate of quinine ; now, 
in admitting that the mean quantity administered to each 
of those who have taken it, is 36 grains, in various doses, 
(and for the most part much less than this is sufficient com- 
pletely to check the fever,) we shall have in 1826, the 

Foreign Literature and Science. 391 

number of 1,444,000 individuals who have partaken of this 

Letter of Pelletier and Caventou to the members of the 
Royal Academy of Sciences. — Idem. Mars, 1827. 

31. Rural Economy. — M* Lullin, of Geneva, in a 
pamphlet dictated by philanthropy and intelligence, propo- 
ses to agriculturists to substitute cows for oxen, or at least 
to unite the former in the labor of the farm. The substitu- 
tion, he maintains, would increase the quantity of milk as 
well as of calves. Cows can work with advantage until six 
weeks or two months prior to calving, and resume their la- 
bor a fornight or three weeks after. The diminution of 
milk in working cows, he supposes, may be one fourth ; here 
eight working cows would perform the labor of six oxen, and 
afford at the same time as much milk as six cows without 
work. A cow will do as much work, it is alledged, as one ox 
of equal size. 

The superiority, in point of cheapness and profit, of horn- 
ed cattle over horses, in the work of a farm is considered as 
very great. Oats, harness, and shoeing are all considerable 
items. The price of a horse is equal to two oxen or three 
cows. Horned cattle are subject only to forty seven kinds 
of diseases, while horses are liable to 261 ; and finally 'a 
horse aged, blind, or past service, is entirely lost, while an ex 
or cow fattens in old age and sells to advantage. In case too, 
at any time, of a broken leg, the animal may serve for food. 
The amount of manure it is said would be doubled by the 
substitution of cattle for horses. — Idem. 

32. On a Gelatinous Quartz ; by M. Guillemin. — This 
substance, white, of a resinous lustre passing to dull, translu- 
cent on the edges, with a conchoidal fracture, scarcely scratch- 
ing glass, and scratched by steel, is particularly remarkable for 
its property of absorbing a large quantity of water : it com- 
monly contains 1 1 per cent, which is not combined, since it 
can be expelled entirely by prolonged desiccation : immersed 
in distilled water, it absorbs it again, (disengaging air bub- 
bles,) to the amount even of 25 per cent. Infusible with the 
blowpipe, this mineral dissolves almost instantly in boiling 
caustic potash. Its chemical analysis gives 97.7 silex and 
2.3 alumine. Differing from quartz and silex in many res- 
pects, and especially in density, which is less, in the propor- 

392 Foreign Literature and Science. 

tion of 18 to 26, it much resembles the quartz concretionnc 
ihermogene of Haiiy ; but the latter is found in concretions 
in certain hot springs, while the gelatinous quartz is found in 
sandstone, covered by the coal sandstone, with which it pre- 
sents a concordant stratification, and superposed in the same 
manner as the pudding stone, which immediately covers the 
primitive stratum at Zorterais, department of the Allier; 
sometimes it serves as a cement to the sandstone, and some- 
times forms masses in the midst of it, often considerable, the 
surface of which exposed to the air, passes into quartz nec- 
tique. The whole must have been deposited at the same 
time, for the quartz and the sandstone are intimately mixed : 
there is even a sort of passing from one to the other, and the 
gelatinous portion always contains round grains of quartz so 
that it is rare to find the sandstone deprived of this gelatin- 
ous matter, which serves as a cement when only in a small 
quantity. No spring in the neighborhood is thermal, saline, 
or incrusting. — Bull. Univ. March, 1827. 

33. Extract of a letter addressed to M. de Ferussac, Ber- 
lin, Feb. 27, 1827. — There is here at the present time, a 
mule from a stag and a mare. The authorities have attested 
the phenomena, and the structure of the beast is singular 
enough ; the fore part is a horse and the hinder part a deer, 
but all the feet are those of the horse. The same stag has 
covered a second mare, and the result is in anticipation, The 
king has purchased the mule for the island of Pfaneninsel, 
where there is a menagerie. — Ibid. 

34. The Duke de la Rochefoucauld. — Detached pieces is- 
sued from the pen of the Duke, with an abundant and fruitful 
facility ; all tended to the same end, but by different ways. 
He rarely put his name to them : it was sufficient for him to 
have paid a tribute to public good. Among those writings 
there is one which I may be permitted to cite in concluding 
this notice, both because it is intimately connected with the 
objects of this society, and because, as it was published but 
a few months before he was taken from this world, it remains 
as his last work, and includes his last thoughts ; — we may 
justly regard it as a legacy, which in his last moments, he was 
desirous of leaving to the national industry. It is the " Sta- 
tistics of the Canton of Creil," modestly printed at Senlis. 
One hundred copies only were printed without the name of 


Intelligence, tyc. 393 

the author. It was written on the borders of eighty with a 
neatness and precision, truly remakable. It furnishes a pic- 
ture of the industry of a simple Canton, which, within a 
compass of twelve miles by six, includes one hundred and 
seventy nine factories, employing more than eight thousand 
workmen of all ages, distributing among them four millions 
in wages, and pouring into the commerce of the country 
about sixteen million of produce. Liancount is the nu- 
cleus of this fruitful activity, and has given an impulse to it 
by its own example. Each manufactory is rapidly descri- 
bed, with the history of its foundation, its vicissitudes, its 
progress and the causes which have contributed to them, 
with a detail of the sources whence the raw materials are 
drawn, the sale of its products, and the extent and the merit of 
its operations. It is impossible to include in a narrow com- 
pass a greater number of instructive facts. In inviting us 
also to verify the happy results obtained in the Canton of 
Creil by this development of labor, he adds, " we shall eve- 
ry where observe a reciprocity of benevolence established 
between masters and workmen ; and we may, if we are in- 
clined, consult the authorities, civil and religious, to learn 
from them that the introduction of (manufacturing) industry 
into their commune, has produced in the manners of the peo- 
ple an amelioration which becomes every day more obvious." 
These are almost the last ideas traced by his hand, and 
we perceive in them in some sort an epitome of those which 
occupied and directed his whole life. 

: Extracted from the notice of the Dukede la Rochefoucauld, 
read before the society for the encouragement of national in- 
dustry by Baron Degerando. — Bull. cPEncour. Mai, 1827. 

II. Domestic. 

1. Singular organic relic. — A workman recently broke 
a mass of very firm conglomerate rock, quarried for the 
new State House now building at New Haven, and found, 
lodged in a cavity, so completely enclosed as to exclude the 
possibility of external introduction — a piece of wood,* the 
small limb of a tree, apparently of the pine family — with the 
bark entire — the wood not mineralized — but fresh, and in 

* We did not see the specimen of wood, but the facts were reported by cred- 
ible witnesses. — Ed. 

Vol. XIV.— No. 2. 24 

394 Intelligence, fyc. 

perfect preservation, and not even attached to the walls of 
the cavity, (except slightly at one end,) but lying in it as in a 
case. The piece of wood was not larger than a finger, and 
the cavity but two or three inches in diameter : it was lined 
with a soft and feebly coherent matter, resembling the sub- 
stance of the rock in a state of rather minute division. 

The conclusion from this interesting fact appears irresisti- 
ble, that this piece of wood was floating in the waters, which 
were charged with the materials of this rock, and became en- 
closed, during their consolidation; thus proving, that this 
rock had never been ignited; and that a tree or shrub was 
in existence when it was formed. That it is a very ancient, 
rock of this class is evident from its composition, presenting 
quartz— fresh and brilliant red feldspar and mica — along with 
entire fragments of granite, gneiss, mica slate, argillite, &c. 
being evidently an early offset, from the destruction of a prim- 
itive formation. It passes from a fine sandstone into a 
coarse pudding stone." The rock has been usually referred by 
our geologists, to the red sandstone formation; it is in many 
places covered by ridges of greenstone trap. In the same 
rock formation, but fifty miles from New Haven, were found 
the bones of a large animal. See Vol. II. p. 147, and Vol. 
III. p. 247, of this Journal, to which we refer for more partic- 
ular geological details. We add the following fact relating 
to the same rock in Scotland. 

Antediluvian Footsteps. — In the red sand stone quarry of Corn- 
codale Muir, about two miles to the north of the town of Loch- 
maben, in the county of Dumfries, are numerous and distinct im- 
pressions of feet, which leave no doubt that this rock, while in a 
soft state, had been traversed by living quadrupeds. Casts taken 
from some of these prints are in possession of several geologists. 
The simple inspection of the tracks makes it impossible to doubt 
in what manner they have been produced. The great numbers 
of the impressions in uninterrupted continuity — the regular al- 
ternations of the right and left footsteps— their equt-distance from 
each other- — the outward direction of the toes — the grazing of 
the foot along the surface before it was firmly planted — the deep- 
er impression made by the toe than by the heel, theforcing for- 
ward of the sandy matter of the rock, by the downward and scarce- 
ly slanting direction in which it is remarkable that all the animals 
have traversed this singular acclivity — and, in the largest speci- 
men found in a different part of the quarry, the sharp and well de- 
fined marks of the three claws of the animal's foot, are circumstan- 
ces which immediately arrest the attention of the observer, and 
force him to acknowledge that they admit of only one explanation. 

Intelligence, fyc. 395 

2. Plane surfaces not separated by a blast in certain cases. 

Wallingford, Vt. May 16, 1828. 

Dear Sir — I beg leave to call your attention to a fact, 
for the explanation of which a gold medal and one hundred 
guineas were offered by the Royal Society. 

The experiment is this ; cut from a card two pieces about 
two inches in diameter, let one of them be perforated in 
the centre, and let a common quill be introduced into the 
perforation, with one end even with the surface of the card 
— let the other piece of card be made a little convex, and 
lay its centre over the end of the quill, with the concave 
side of the card down — the centre of the upper card should 
be from { to i of an inch above the end of the quill. On 
attempting to blow off the upper card, by blowing through 
the quill it will be found impossible. 

I prepared the pieces of card very carefully, according to 
direction, and to my astonishment, the upper card could 
not be blown off. 

When the edges of the two pieces of card were made to 
fit each other very accurately, the upper card would be 
moved, and sometimes it would be thrown off, but when 
the edges of the card, were on two sides, sufficiently far 
apart to permit the current of air to escape, the loose card 
retained its position, when the current of air sent against it 
was strong, when it was inclined at every angle through 
180° ; but when very little inclined, if the current of air 
ceased, the upper card would immediately fall. The exper- 
iment succeeds equally well, whether the current of air be 
made by the mouth, or from a bellows. When the tube fit- 
ted the perforation of the card rather loosely, a comparative- 
ly light puff of air would throw both cards three or four feet 
in height. When, from the humidity of the breath, the up- 
per surface of the perforated card had a little expanded, 
and the two opposite sides were somewhat depressed, these 
depressed sides were distinctly seen to rise and approach 
the upper card directly in proportion to the force of the cur- 
rent of air. 

I have this moment discovered another fact with this sim- 
ple apparatus, equally inexplicable with the former. Let 
the loose card be laid upon the hand with the concave side 
up — blow forcibly through the tube, and at the same time 

396 Intelligence, fyc. 

bring the two cards towards each other — when within f of 
an inch, if the current of air be strong, the loose card will 
suddenly rise, and adhere to the perforated card. If the 
card through which the tube passes, have several perforations 
made in it, the loose card is instantly thrown off by a slight 
puff of air. An explanation is requested by your ob't. serv't., 

Nat. Ives. 

Explanation by Dr. Robert Hare. — The phenomenon above al- 
luded to, is usually illustrated by means of two disks,* into the 
centre of one of which a tube is fastened, so that on blowing 
through the tube the current is arrested by the moveable disk. 
Under these circumstances the moveable disk is not removed, as 
would be naturally expected. 

Supposing the diameter of the disks to be to that of the orifice 
as 8 to 1, the area of the former to the latter must be as 64 to 1. 
Hence if the disks were to be separated (their surfaces remain- 
ing parallel) with a velocity as great as that of the blast, a col- 
umn of air must meanwhile be interposed, sixty-four times great- 
er than that which would escape from the tube during the inte- 
rim. Consequently if all the air necessary to preserve the equil- 
librum be supplied from the tube, the disks must be separated 
with a velocity as much less than that of the blast, as the column 
required between them is greater than that yielded by the tube ; 
and yet the air cannot be supplied from any other source, unless 
a deficit of pressure be created between the disks unfavorable 
to their separation. 

It follows then, that under the circumstances in question, the 
disks cannot be made to move asunder with a velocity greater 
than l-64th of that of the blast. Of course all the momentum 
of the aerial particles which constitute the current through the 
tube will be expended on the moveable disk, and the thin ring 
of air which exists around the orifice between the disks ; and 
since the moveable disk can only move with l-64th of the velo- 
city of the blast, the ring of air in the interstice must experi- 
ence nearly all the momentum of the jet ; and must be driven out- 
wards, the blast following it in various currents, radiating from 
the common centre of the tube and disks. The effect of such 
currents in producing an afflux of the adjoining portions of any 
fluid in which they may be excited, is well known, having been 
successfully illustrated by Venturi. See Nicholson's Journal, 
quarto, Vol. 11. p. 172; 

* The word disk is used by experimental philosophers, to signify any plane 
surface bounded by a circle, whether it be merely a superficies, or have a 
sensible thickness, as in the case of a wafer, or a piece of coin. 

X, TUKATR CHt8.C3L.KS. No-*-. 

Intelligence, fyc. 397 

Accordingly the afflux of the air towards the disks counteracts 
the small velocity which the blast would communicate, and thus 
prevents their separation, and may even cause them to approach 
each other, if previously situated a small distance apart. 

This rationale commences with the assumption that the disks 
will remain nearly parallel. That there cannot be much devia- 
tion from parallelism must be evident, since any obliquity will 
make the opening greater on one side than on the other ; and the 
jet proceeding with most force towards the widest opening, will 
increase the afflux of air upon the outer surface of the moveable 
disk in the part where the current is strongest, and thus correct 
the obliquity. 

The phenomenon is advantageously exhibited, when the area 
of the tube is to that of the disk, as stated ; but were any other 
ratio, which can be successfully employed, substituted, it would 
not alter the explanation. 

(Communicated by Mr. Amos Doolittle.*) 
3. Singular appearance of circles around the Moon.— On the 
evening of the 2d of November, 1827, between the hours of sev- 
en and eight, there appeared, around the moon.t (a little more 
than its width in diameter,) a very luminous saffron colored light. 
On the outer edge was a circle of bright red, which was graduated 
into a dark purple ; around the purple was a circle of bright blue 
which faded into a yellowish green, increasing towards the outer 
edge, to a very vivid green. There appeared to be faint white 
rays passing from the moon across these columns, whose circles 
formed, around this lunar glory, a larger circle of a dark lead- 
en color, which gave the whole a very beautiful appearance. 

It was observed by a great number of spectators at New Ha- 
ven, who all say they never saw any thing of the kind equal to it 
in the whole course of their lives, and some of the spectators 
were aged people. A little girl ran in to her friends exclaiming 
" come and see the prettiest moon that ever was." 

NOTE. — The Geological Profile which forms the frontispiece 
of the present volume, and the pictured tablet, at pp. 144 — 5, 
to illustrate Prof. Eaton's Geological Nomenclature, were pre- 
sented to this Journal, by the Hon. Stephen Van Rensselaer, 
whose liberality to the cause of useful knowledge, and whose 
enlarged views of the primary interests of his country, entitle 
him to its warmest thanks, and to the gratitude of posterity. 

* Mr. Doolittle, engraver to this Journal, has presented to the public the 
annexed plate, representing this beautiful appearance, and his daughter Miss 
Sarah Doolittle, has colored it, as she copied the hues at the moment, and 
before they had changed or materially faded. — It is a very correct represen- 
tation, as it was seen by the Editor among many others. 

t The moon was about two hours from its rising. 



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Maximum of temperature for the year, occurred July 1st, 
and was ..... 96°. 

Minimum Jan. 22d, - - - -7°. 

Whole range of temperature, - - 103°. 

The whole quantity of water, in inches, which fell in rain, 
hail and snow was 58.4 — 35.3 of which fell in the nighttime. 
On the 19th, 20th and 21st of September, there fell eight 
inches of rain. The whole quantity of snow and hail was 
seventy-two inches, but as the weather was mild, and the 
snow storms were usually succeeded by warm rains, there 
were but a few days of good sleighing in Vermont, during 
the winter. The greatest depth of snow upon the earth, at 
any time, did not exceed twelve inches. The quanity of 
water, in rain, hail and snow, which fell during the last year, 
was two tenths of an inch more than that of the year pro- 
ceeding ; and the temperature of the summer months was 
two degress less ; but the comparative progress and maturi- 
ty of vegetation in those years was truly surprising — In con- 
sequence 1 of a mild and open winter, followed by a very 
warm and dry spring, which was succeeded by swarms of 
devouring insects, which destroyed much of the growth of 
the summer of 1 826, a greater scarcity of provisions, both 
for man, and beast, was experienced in some parts of Ver- 
mont, than has occurred since the first settlement of the 
State. But the last season was directly the reverse ; the 
crops were never more abundant, nor in a finer state of ma- 

Fayetteville, May 1st, 1828. 

5. Postscript* to the Pluviometrical Observations of Dr. Dar- 
lington, published at p. 29, of this volume. — Since the foregoing was 
written, I have seen in the " Register of Pennsylvania" a state- 
ment of the rain as it fell at, and near Philadelphia, for a number 
of years past, — by which it appears, that the quantity was much 
less than I have made it: so much less, indeed, that it would war- 
rant a suspicion that there must be some inaccuracy in one, or 
both, of the accounts. The statement in the " Register" makes 
the average of the last five years only 36.30 inches ; whereas my 
account gives an average of 47.46 inches. It is hardly probable 
there could be that much difference in the quantity, in two places 
so near each other (not exceeding twenty-five miles :) and yet I 
am unable to account for the discrepancy. My rain guage was a 
tin vessel, accurately made, six inches deep, and six inches square 

* Accidentally omitted in the last No. 

400 Intelligence, fyc. 

—being an exact cube, open at top : and as the guages commonly 
used, are inverted cones, I should suppose mine would have ex- 
hibited a rather less quantity than those, on account of its allow- 
ing more evaporation — especially during light rains, in warm 
weather. I cannot well perceive how such a guage as mine could 
catch more rain than actually fell : yet it has almost constantly 
shown more than the published accounts from Washington City, 
Albany, and Philadelphia. I find, nevertheless, that my state- 
ment agrees remarkably with one preserved by Mr. Jefferson, 
in his Notes on Virginia — which shows an average of 47-038 inch- 
es, in a series of five years, just half a century prior to my ob- 
servations, viz. from 1772 to 1777. — As statements of this des- 
cription are of no value, unless made with fidelity and accuracy, 
I thought it due to the occasion, to make these few additional 
remarks. W. D. 

6. New Haven Gymnasium. — This Institution, whose plan was 
announced at p. 385 of Vol. XIII, of this Journal, was commen- 
ced on the 1st of May, and is now in successful operation, with 
a competent and increasing number of pupils. 

It was very fortunate that the parent institution at Northamp- 
tion, was organized and carried into effect by gentlemen whose 
eminent qualifications and devoted zeal, have enabled them to es- 
tablish a high standard of excellence, in this kind of Seminary ; 
so important to this great and growing country. Uniting ac- 
ademic and domestic discipline — providing equally for intellec- 
tual, physical and moral culture — and fitting the pupil either for 
business or the University, according to his destination in life ; 
it is most happily adapted to meet the wants of a large class of 
pupils in the United States. The example set at Northampton, 
has been successfully followed at Amherst and elsewhere, and the 
public expect much from the Gymnasium of the Messrs. Dwights. 
The location and accommodations of their school, are peculiarly 
happy — they have introduced able instructors — their own tal- 
ents, and zeal will be brought to bear incessantly upon the great 
object, and we cannot doubt, that as guardians and instructors of 
so interesting a portion of the youth of this country, they will hon- 
or the memory of their illustrious father, and continue the influ- 
ence which he so extensively and happily created. June 16. 

7. NOTICE.— Within the year 1829, I intend to publish a system of Ameri- 
can Geology, carefully compared with the geology of the eastern continent. If I 
succeed in preparing it in a manner which shall be acceptable to my scientific 
colleagues, I shall add seven or eight copper-plates, illustrative of the science. 

Rensselaer School, April 30th, 1828. AMOS EATON. 

8. Chesterfield Tourmalines. — Mr. Clark, the proprietor of these minerals, 
designs to explore his locality to a greater extent, the present season, than 
he has heretofore done, and will be better prepared to furnish collectors of 
Cabiqets who may visit him. 



Alger, F. & C. T. Jackson, on the Mineralogy of Nova Scotia, 305 
Ammonia, formation of, 387 
Analysis of elastic bitumens, 371 

of the Pittsburg mineral spring, 124 

. of Tourmalines, 384 

Apparatus, chemical, new modifications of, 354 
Asbestus, of New Milford, 199 
Aurora borealis, notice of, 9 1 
Atomic theory, J. Finch on, 24 

Barnes, remarks upon his notice respecting magnetic polarity, 121 
Beck, Lewis C, on the botany of Illinois and Missouri, 112 

on the Chlorides of Soda and Lime, 251 

Bitumen, analysis of, 37 1 

Bones disinterred on the Mississippi, 186 

Botany of Illinois and Missouri, 112 

of the Pyrenees, 371 

Boulders of Primitive Rocks in Ohio, 291 
Bromine, new compounds of, 386 
Butterflies, emigration of, 387 

Cabinet in Geology and Mineralogy, 197 
Canal, Louisville and Shippingsport, 65 
Capillary action, 384 

Caricography, appendix to, continued from Vol. XII, p. 297, 351 
Carpenter, G. W., on the minerals of Chester county, 1 
Chemical equivalents, improved scale of, 202 
Chester county, mineralogy of, 1 
Children, male and female, proportion between, 372 , 
Chipman, N. on moving stones, 303 
Chlorides of Soda and Lime, as disinfecting agents, 251 
Chlorine and chlorides, 382 
Chromium, on its combinations, 136 
Commun, J. Du, on the cause of fresh water springs, 174 
Crank motion, remarks upon, 60 
Crude Sodas, remarks upon, 41 

Darlington, Wm., pluviometrical observations by, 29 
Daubeny, Prof.^ notice of his work on volcanos, concluded from 
Vol. XIII, p. 310, 70 

Vol. XIV,— No. 2, 25 

402 INDEX. 

Delaware, minerals of, 1 

Density of the air, opposite effects of, on clocks, 375 

Doolittle, Isaac, on crank motion, 60 

Amos, on lunar circles, 397 

Eaton, Prof., on Geological nomenclature, 145 

on Geological Strata, 359 

Eastern Seas, voyage to, by Capt. B. Hall, 206 
Elephant, fossil tooth of, 31 

Falls, Tockoa and Tallulah, notice of, 209 
Finch, J. on the Mineralogy of West Chester, 15 

on the boundaries of empire, 18 

on the atomic theory, 24 

Field, Martin, on the profile mountain of New Hampshire, 64 

Meteorological table, 398 

Fire, mode of preserving buildings from, 379 

Fluates, 387 

Fluoric acid, 387 

Fluxions, a theory of, 330 

Fogs, polar, 378 

Fossil bones, discovered in France, 203 

Foster, A. notice of Tockoa Falls, by, 209 

Friction, effects of, 194 

Gas, a new combustible one, 205 
Geological nomenclature, by Prof. Eaton, 145 

specimens for sale, 190 

strata, 359 

Gold, artificial, a new alloy, 371 

Goodrich, G. E. on a peculiarity of vision^ 264 

Gymnasium, New Haven, 400 


Halle university, jubilee fete at, 381 

Hansteen, Prof, on the influence of polar lights on the magnetic 
needle, 109 

Hare, R. on Pneumatic cistern, 200 

new apparatus, 354 

Harlan, R. on bones disinterred upon the Mississippi, 186 

Hayes, Augustus R. on the combinations of chromium, 136 

Hildreth, S. P. meteorological observations by, 63 

shells found near Marietta, 276 

Hitchcock, Prof, mineral localities by, 215 

Human race, species and varieties of, 379 

Hydro pneumatic cistern of Dr. Hare, 200 

INDEX. 403 


Inertia, remarks upon, 50 
Inflammable Gas, inspiration of, 370 
Iron, native, 183 

Jackson, C. T. & F. Alger, on the minerals of Nova Scotia, 305 

Land and water, distribution of, 375 
Lapham, J. A. notice of the Louisville canal, by, 65 
Leaden pipes, strength of, 369 
Life preservers, 189 
Light, intense, 385 
Lincoln, B. on a water spout, 171 

Lion, Lucius, observations on surveying instruments, 268 
Long, Lieut, his steam engine, 169 
Lyceum of N. History of New York, proceedings of, 190 

Magnetic Polarity, remarks on Mr. Barnes' notice respecting, 1 21 
Mammoth found in New Jersey, 188 
Manganese in Vermont, 190 
Maryland, minerals of, 1 
Mastodon, skeleton of, 31 

teeth found in Con. 187 

Meade, Wm. analysis of a mineral spring by, 1 24 
Merritt, Wm. H. account of the Welland canal, by, 159 
Meteor of a green color, 199 
Meteorological observations at Marietta, 63 

report by Prof. Olmsted, 176 

Table, 398 

Mineral localities, 215 
Mines of Gold and Platina, 204 
Moon, circles around, 397 
Motion, on the principles of, 297 
Moving stones in lakes and ponds, 803 

New Haven Gymnasium, 400 
Nitrification, theory of, 385 
North Carolina, geology of, 230 


Oil, from the seed of the Croton Tiglium, 369 
01msted T Prof, notice of his geological report, 230 

meteorological report by, 176 

Paper, a new mode of preparing it, 373 
Paragreles, efficacy of, 37 
Physical Geography, effect of, or the boundaries of empires, 1& 

404 INDEX. 

Plane surfaces, not separable by blowing, 395 

Pluviometrical observations, 29 

Polar fogs, 379 

Porcelain, American, 198 

Premiums awarded by the French academy, 380 

Prizes of the academy of sciences, 389 

Profile mountain of New Hampshire, 64 


Quartz, gelatinous, 391 
Quinine, sulphate of, 399 

Ramond, on the vegetation of the Pyrenees, 377 
Rensselaer, J. Van, on the fossil tooth of an elephant, 31 
Revere, J. on the crude, sodas, 41 
Review of Prof. Daubeny's work on volcanos, concluded from 

Vol. XIII, p. 310, 70 
Rewards of science, 389 
Rhubarb, different varieties of, 33 
Rhubarbarine, cathartic effects of, 33 
Rochefoucauld, le Duke de la, 392 
Rural economy, 390 

Sapphire in the emery of Naxos, 205 
Shells found near Marietta, 276 
Shepard, C. U. on native iron, 1 83 
Silex, solubility of, 385 

Silliman, B. D. notice of an aurora borealis, by, 91 
Soapstone, its uses, 476 
Soda and Lime, chlorides of, 251 
Southern review, 199 
Springs, freshwater, on their cause, 174 
Steatite, notice of, 376 
Steam engine, by Lieut. Long, 169 
Sulphate of Quinine, 390 

Tappan, B. on the boulders of primitive rocks, 291 
Tourmalines, analysis of, 384 
■ of Chesterfield, for sale, 400 

Vanuxem, Prof, on the pressure of water at great depths, 194 
Vision, on a peculiarity in, 264 

Water Spout, 171 

Water, pressure of, at great depths, 194 
Welland canal, 159 

West Chester, geology and mineralogy of, 15 
Wright, E. a theory of fluxions by, 330